Flee Calvinism?

June 15, 2015

escape_from_dog1. You’ll have more time to enjoy life because you’ll be less busy policing the theology of others.

Seriously– I’ve never seen anyone police theology like a Calvinist; it’s almost as if rebuking everyone you come into contact with is part of the job description. Once you leave that behind you’ll realize you have a boat load of time on your hands and happen to live in a world where there are lots of fun things to go do. Even if this doesn’t actually free up real time, it will certainly lighten your burden in life when you realize you’re free to follow Jesus without being the theology police to the rest of the Christian world.

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 2. You’ll begin to appreciate the diversity that exists in the body of Christ.

Calvinism may appreciate a version of God who creates the vast majority of humanity for the sole purpose of smiting and torturing them, but what it doesn’t appreciate is the existence of Christians who see things differently. Once you let go of the Calvinistic lifestyle, you’ll be free to view the vast landscape of Christian thought and see there are many beautiful Christ-followers who all see things slightly differently than the other. You won’t always agree with them, but you’ll grow to see that we’re more because of Christian diversity- not less.

3. You’ll instantly make the gospel more attractive to nonbelievers.

You know how Paul told that one guy to “make the Gospel attractive by how you live?” Well, abandoning the message of “God may have created you simply to be an object of his wrath, and you have no choice in that” is a great first start. The Gospel is good news but Calvinism is horrible news– when you abandon the later in favor of the former, what you’re selling will be far more attractive to nonbelievers since a good product sells itself. I grieve to imagine how many people reject Christianity because Calvinism is the first thing they come into contact with, and mistakenly believe the whole faith is built upon the premise that God is a third grade dodge ball captain who only picks the cool kids.
4. The cross will appear more beautiful.

Let me ask you, which is more beautiful:

For God so loved the word, or for God so loved a handful of people?

Jesus died for the sins of the world, or Jesus died for the sins of a handful of people?
On the cross Jesus was drawing all humanity to himself, or on the cross Jesus was drawing a handful of people to himself?

On the cross Jesus was reconciling all things, or on the cross Jesus was reconciling a few things?

I don’t know about you, but the cross of Calvinism is a diminished version of the cross I see in the New Testament. When we look at the cross we should see the fullness of God’s beauty- not a diminished version of it.

And, it’s not only the cross that will appear more beautiful– people will be more beautiful too, once you let go of seeing some of them as elected and some of them as reprobate objects of destruction.
5. You’ll get to go back to enjoying NOOMA videos.

And who doesn’t enjoy a classic NOOMA video? People who haven’t left Calvinism yet, that’s who. Remember that giddy feeling you once had when you popped one of those bad boys into the DVD player at small group and huddled around for some good conversation after? Well, the good news is you can get all that back. In fact, with less time reading Institutes you might discover a bunch of other thinkers you may enjoy, all who have come along since the NOOMA days. None of us will judge you for it.

Okay, well– maybe NOOMA videos went out a long time ago. Point is however, there’s a lot great stuff to read, see, and experience related to Christian thought outside of the reformed boundaries. I’m sure there’s something currently off limits that you’d like to read. Whatever that may be, I’m sure we have a copy to lend you.

It’s a beautiful world out here folks, but you’ve gotta climb over the walls of Calvinism to see it. The good news is most of us will readily welcome you… even though so many of you were not willing to welcome us.

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