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Friday, May 19, 2006

Tele-Hyper-Calvinists

A roadblock to actually considering the doctrines of grace is often, "Yeah, but then you guys see no reason to evangelize." Ignoring both the fact that history shows churches that embrace these doctrines are typically the most missional churches, they also misrepresent the process of proclaiming the gospel in God's process to bring His elect to Himself.

Like most things that are taken too far, hyper-Calvinism has done a great disservice to the doctrines of grace. A hyper-Calvinist believes that since God will bring His elect to Himself, it is not necessary for them to preach the gospel, for life is just a fatalism and our actions have no effect. This is a distortion of biblical truth.

However, as I was recently listening to a speaker ignore the gospel for forty minutes and then call people to trust in Christ, a funny thought crossed my mind. "Is _________________ a hyper-Calvinist?" It seemed to be the only explanation, as this man seemed to believe that people would come to Christ through his ministry despite his neglect of preaching the gospel.

It was ironic, because I am sure this man would abhor the title of Calvinist, finding it far too exclusive and condemning. Yet, his actions seem to be that of one who has taken the doctrines too far. He claims to believe the gospel but does not see his need to clearly articulate it.

So just throwing a question out there:

Are churches that claim believe the gospel, but hesitant to boldly proclaim it, actually evidencing the doctrines of hyper-Calvinism? Or is it just that their actions look the same?

2 Comments:

  • At 10:03 PM, Anonymous mcgriff said…

    I would say they just appear that way. But actions sometimes speak louder than words.

    Also, I believe it was Spurgeon who said that "our command is not to save the world, but to save the elect." In other words, since we do not know who the elect are we are to go about preaching the Gospel of God to everyone knowing that the elect will hear and receive the word. Therefore we do not need to fear the rejection, as all that indicates is that the person was not elect, or at least elected to receive at that time.

     
  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger jason said…

    It is funny how often people think that the term "Calvinism" is a reference to the sovereignty of God in salvation so that we don't have to do anything. The term is tied more to the practice than the theology which is really weird to me.

    I was just telling a friend the other day, however, about the way the doctrines of grace affect my practice to give me confidence to rely upon God's sovereignty in the midst of my own obedience. That is to say, if I evangelize and that person doesn't make a decision for Christ, I don't need to try to force them to do it. All I can do is present truth correctly and let the Spirit do the work. Its been amazing for me to walk through Matthew and see this emphasis in Jesus teaching.

     

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