Logan City, Queensland, Australia
by servhmonly on 2008/1/26 4:20:15
Just a thought I had while pondering this whole question. Will all this really matter when persecution and tribulation hit America.
How will we stand together in adversity when we can't in so called peace?
All these issues we hold so dear to our hearts are not going to matter, just Christ and His Word.
Will it matter if we are Calvenist/Armenian, if we sing hymns or chouruses, if we wear pants or skirts(as long as we are modest and not causing our brothers to stumbble), if we wear a head covering or not, if we KJV or some other version, what denomination we are. Will it matter?
We are called to be holy and live righteously. I am not saying accept anything but we must quit majoring on what men say.
The question may not be as hypothetical as you think.
If Total Depravity is realised by the church, practical application would be that a lot of emphasis will be on prayer, because it is acknowledged that only God can convert the soul. In fact, when everyone prays for the salvation of another and that God will soften the heart of the non-believer, he is being calvinistic that very moment even if he does not realise it. because in so doing, he recognises God's sovereignity in salvation and that only God can convert and draw the soul to him. The Calvinistic church understands that their prayers is one of the the means that God is using to bring about the salvation of the lost (the ends) The Arminian believes that man can reject God's will and therefore, prayer becomes useless since God does not infringe on man's will.
Perservance of saints which would mean that those who appear to fall away are obviously not saved in the first place. The church who believes in this fifth point of TULIP would focus less of its resources trying to keep lukewarm members within the church (lest they fall away from an Arminian view), but will focus more on discipling true converts and reaching out to the lost. Leaders are a precious commodity in any organisation. The church included. Yet most of the resources are spent trying to retain false converts.
Secondly, it will also affect the way the church is runned. if the church starts with an Arminian mentality whereby the saved can be lost, then the church will attempt to be seeker-friendly as a means to retain these people. A Calvinistic church would not do the same. The Calvinist church practices church discipline because they recognise that if a true Christian is living in sin for a period of time, he will turn to God following discipline. If he is a false convert, he will leave the church and not falsely console himself that he is saved when he isn't. He is not "innoculated to the gospel" message of repentance in the future because he is well aware that he is not saved in the first place. His identify as a false convert is made plain for him to see.
The Arminianistic church will not practise church discipline because it might turn the true believer away from God and the believer might lose his salvation. The Calvinist church understand that the elect WILL stay in the church, and that Godly disciple WILL correct and refine the church (not destroy it). Godly discipline edifies the church as well as the individual. The implication is that that the focus of the local congregation is Christ centred; the focus is primary on fellowship of saints and worship of God.
A calvinistic understanding on soteriology would also interpret the parables such that they are recognised as speaking of false converts within the church, of whom the false will be exposed on the day of judgement. As a church, the calvinistic one would be alert in identifying the weeds among the tares, understanding that there are false converts within its fold. The Arminian church would typically view the parables as refering to two groups of believers who are both saved, but one is carnal and one is spirit-filled; church discipline is not practised. In application, the calvinistic church will not allow those of questionable character to serve in certain ministry because they may well be false converts. The Arminian church would not mind if that keeps them faithfully coming to church.
The Calvinist church's focus will not be on following up worldly people within the church, but will instead focus their efforts on discipling true converts so as to develop leaders who are strong and biblical in their thinking. I'm not saying that reaching out to questionable converts is not needed. I am saying that the focus would be different.
When the church is Calvinistic in thinking, its focus on evangelism will be one that uses the law to demostrate the depravity of man. The sinful man is shown to be depraved and repentance is needed to come to God. The Arminian would usually coax the believer to just believe in Christ, attend church regularly and then grow in faith along the way.
With this in mind, when push comes to shove, the Calvinistic church if it has applied the above would withstand the greater blow of persecution and testing simply because when it's doctrines have been applied, the result is a church made strong the hard way (think along the lines of the Spartans from greek history).
Sadly, the truth of the matter is that the majority of heresies and compromises that have plagued the church in the past century (the prosperity gospel, seeker friendlyness, Word of Faith, The excessive abuse of spiritual gifts among pentacostals and charismatics) have come from the Arminian side. You would be hard pressed to find a minister who fell into the latter errors that held to a calvinist viewpoint.
Let's go back to Spurgeon: During the latter end of his ministry, he became a major player within the "Downgrade Controversy". Liberal theology was creeping into the church, and the Baptist Union which Spurgeon belonged to was far from immune. In an effort to protect his fellow Baptists, Spurgeon called that the Union draft a statement of faith affirming the essential doctrines. Sadly, the call was denied, and the Metropolitan Tabernacle had to withdraw from the Baptist Union. Yet, one of the main points of doctrine that Spurgeon contended for was Calvinism. It was the Calvinist churches within the Baptist Union that was remaining faithful and weren't compromising themselves in order to appease the prevalence of modernist thinking.
Over a century later, we are dealing with a postmodern society, and a resulting Emergent Church. History has a tendency of repeating itself...
| 2008/1/25 21:54||Profile|
| Re: The Arminian 'gospel'? (Spurgeon)|
The Arminianistic church will not practise church discipline because it might turn the true believer away from God and the believer might lose his salvation.
Where do you get this from?
we can see in church history, people who has been labeled arminian who practiced much more hard church discipline then any living calvinist today.
You should read some from the methodist/wesley has some very hard discipline
Our brother Abe said in another thread many have calvinism in the head. Maybe this is true, this i do not say only to the ones who hold calvins doctrine dear, but to all,
Paul washer can preach and we sense great burden and power, but he has meet God...
Leonard Ravenhill can preach and send anyone to sleepless nights weeping for mercy for our powerless lifes.... he knew God
we can quote these men and discuss doctrine, i just yesterday heard Paul Washer say many have right theology, they understand calvinism rightly but still are not even close to some who dont have it right but they still walk with God. Some are just parrots who repeat what other men have encountered when meeting God. God forbid we should stay there.
Is your theology real in your life? no matter how many verses you know...is what you preach a reality in your life? if not we are hypocrites.
Just because Paul Washer said it, or Ravenhill or Tozer, even if it is true and right doctrine..i can quote that as if it was my encounter with God. I so often fall into this myself
what ever happend to being a witness?
my encounter with God.
What has God showed you first hand? not second hand by Calvin or Wesley or Ravenhill?
what did God tell you face to face?
do anyone see all these doctrine things is just second best....
i stagger when i hear Zac Poonen say he NEVER preach anything he cant say that he lives 24/7
can I say that?
if we knew God as well as our doctrines we would have revival years ago, our cities would be shaking by the presance of God through our life's.
I have said before and say again.
Most calvinist are lost, most arminians are lost, most professing Christians are lost.
Many are just Christian in name and doctrine. But the only thing that matters is a new creature
Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
| 2008/1/26 6:52||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
I am [b]locking[/b] this thread.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2008/1/26 7:55||Profile|
Abe_Juliott, we love you here, do not retreat or withdraw yourself. I am glad you recognized what your well intended posts caused. As I told you, I am looking forward to share eternity with you.
I love to listen to Spurgeon, Murray, Piper and Washer who happen to be Calvinists, it is just not my sole diet.
The problem is that Sermonindex is not a church in a sense of a local community with elders and deacons who can bring in the neccessary loving guidance and correction and have to given and account to God for their keeping of the flock. Due to the virtual nature of the internet it is impossible to recognize people with an examplary walk in Christ who qualify for such an office here in SI. God never intended the church to be virtual.
We have moderators who do a terrific job to maintain this forum but I believe that they also see the limitations imposed by the virtual nature of this forum.
Blog forums albeit Christian are by nature a flat hierarchy cluster of people with somewhat democratic rules. We only see peoples words, not their actions.
We do not pray together and for each other and we do not take the Lords supper together nor do we wash each other feet.
I have found great encouragement from this website here and the 900+ sermon that I have listened to have greatly deepened and solidified my relationship to Christ.
At the same time I can weep tears about the way brother goes against brother in "friendly fire" knowing that Satan is having a party with his demon pals.
We will all be tested and have to give account of every word that we post here.
| 2008/1/26 8:27||Profile|