I was a die hard Calvinist… to the point I was weeks away from a tulip tattoo behind my ear. I love theology and I love being right, but being a Calvinist with these two quirks is nothing less than annoying! So, the more I matured (listened more than spoke) and the more I read and studied, the more I realized “I may not be a Calvinist after all.” Now, before you reformed campers cry heresy, I am still wrestling with where I stand on the issue, but I can claim that I am NOT a Calvinist. Here are five reasons Calvinism did not seem to make the cut for me:
1.) Too many debates: (although this reason did not change my mind intellectually, it is one of the reasons I stopped and thought about my doctrine.)
This might just be in my area (Appalachia), but for some reason, the only controversial debates that I have ever seen are started and pushed by Calvinist. I was most definitely one of them. These debates (turned arguments) have cost me friends and respect. Although it was a lack of maturity and not doctrinal substance, it still is something that turned me into a psycho. (to put it kindly) If something as unimportant as this turns you into a hateful and unapproachable person, you should probably walk away from it until you grow up.
2.) Cannot be rationally affirmed because God is not Evil
If someone believes Calvinism is true, then they would typically agree that they were pre-destined to think that. They were not able to look at the evidence objectively and consciously make the decision on their own. Something outside themselves (in this case, God) ultimately made the decision for them. Therefore; one would have to also agree that every action one does is outside of their control and indeed, predestined. The problem is, if our actions are not up to us, then God made us do them. If this is the case, we are not held responsible for our actions. This means, God ultimately makes us sin. If it is evil to make a person sin, then God is not only the explanation of sin and evil, but is evil Himself. That obviously is not true! William Lane Craig is far more intelligent then me and has a better way of saying this here.
3.) Salvation is not only for the elect, but it is.
Calvinism says that salvation is only extended to the elect. The elect is inevitable. You cannot argue predestination, it is in scripture consistently; however, I think they have it wrong. Their idea is that you can only receive atonement for your sins if God allows it. If God does not allow the Holy Spirit to regenerate (change) your heart, then you come to the assumption that He is a cruel God who sends people to hell for no reason. You can argue that saving one is grace beyond grace, and that is true, but scripture tells us that it is God’s desire to see all saved. So, that simply does not make sense. So, we use John 6:65 which says the “Father must draw him in.” In Acts 7:51-53 Stephen is telling them that they are resisting the Spirit.
In a recent blog I read called the wardrobe door the author says:
“Keathley explains this using the ambulance analogy.
Imagine you wake up and discover that you are in an ambulance being transported to the emergency room. You clearly require serious medical help. If you do nothing, you will be delivered to the hospital. However, if for whatever reason you demand to be let out, the driver will comply. He may express his concern, warn you of the consequences, but he will abide by your wishes. You receive no credit for being taken to the hospital, you receive all the blame for getting out. This is a picture of the Molinist view of salvation.”
I am not saying I am a Molinist, but I will say that this argument has more substance and a stronger fight in scripture, in my opinion.
4.) Determinist and Compatibilist
I am, by no means, claiming that the human race in not depraved. That would be ridiculous! What I am thinking is we have choice. There are two types of calvinist. There are determinist and compatibilist. The determinist says that everything God has control over everything and what will happen has already been determined. The problem with this is, as stated before, at the core, God makes us sin. That aggressively attacks His nature and attributes. There is just no way. Then you have some of the most dedicated and conservative Calvinist who will say that there is room for freewill in their doctrine. This is what we call compatibilist. this idea argues that we all follow the strongest desire of our heart. Until our hearts have been regenerated, our greatest desire is sin. The problem with this is faced with a simple question: Why did Adam sin? The only answer is that he had free will.
5.) Did I mention the arrogance it caused me?
I am baffled as to why a doctrine that preaches humility, is assumed by so much arrogance. I took on this haughty notion that I had everything Biblical figured out. I was often times unteachable, unless it came from John Piper (who ironically is hyper-complimentarian). The question I had to finally ask myself was, how does this happen? There is this tendency among your calvinist to equate Christianity and the Christian life with reading theology (reformed theology that is) and gaining as much knowledge as possible. When you have that much knowledge, but never practice it, you get the “arrogant” calvinist. It wasn’t until God broke my heart and humbled me to the point of daily tears that I learned what I had become and decided to change.
These are why I have changed my mind. What do you believe and why do you hold to that?