Are Calvinists Worshiping a False God?
The title of my post caught your attention. I wanted it to. I want to address the need for us Arminians and Calvinists to love one another. We can debate. We can disagree. We can even agree to just walk away. But let it not be said of us that we don’t love one another. I love my wife. She is wonderful to me. Yet we don’t agree on every issue. We don’t always get along. But we do love one another. We are committed to each other no matter what may come. We have fought through tough times when it seemed Satan was after one of us yet by the grace of God, we are still married. Still in love with each other and she is my delight. But marriage takes fighting for! So do godly relationships!
Recently I was reading of a debate between a Calvinist brother and an Arminian brother. Both are evangelists. Both seem to have a zeal for reaching people with the gospel. Yet they disagree. Unfortunately, one brother has been attacking the other brother by claiming false statements about this brother and their interactions and he has been reported as saying that this brother worships a false god.
Now I have been accused of this myself. I use to have a Calvinist who would write me and tell me that I was worshiping a false god. He went so far as to say that I would burn in hell for holding to Arminianism and not Calvinism. I often responded with a “love you too brother” sort of reply. It drove him mad I am sure. He would send me link after link from Calvinist blogs attacking my Arminianism. He assumed he could lure me into a debate or that I would resort to saying that Calvinism is a false teaching. I am not sure what he was fishing for other than a good old fight. He came to the wrong Arminian. I suppose I have had my share of debates over the years of blogging and preaching but I have never resorted to saying that Calvinists worship a false god. I disagree with Calvinists. I am not a Calvinist. But I do not share the feelings of some that Calvinists worship a false god.
Jesus said in John 13:34-35:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John the Beloved wrote in 1 John 4:7-21:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
That seems pretty clear that love is one of the key marks for being a disciple of Jesus. It is not holding to Christianity. It is not holding to Arminianism. It is not holding to any ism. It is about being in Christ and allowing His love to flow through us to others and to the world.
I have no hidden agenda here. I know that many Calvinists and Arminians read my blog and they don’t always agree with me. But who can deny that we should love one another? I have no problem praying (and even supporting) godly Calvinists who are hungry for Jesus, desperate for the glory of God to be manifested in His Church, and seeking to evangelize the lost. I have no problems with such folks whether they be Arminians or Calvinists. I long myself to see Jesus exalted in my life and not my Arminianism. If people know me by my theological label rather than my relationship with Jesus, God have mercy upon me. I would rather see souls saved and become strong disciples of Jesus than to fall in love with Arminius and I believe he would agree. Jesus alone is the way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and He alone should be glorified.
Let us exalt Jesus Christ together my brothers and sisters! We have only one God and Him only shall we serve!