Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It is the believer that is in the know who reads the latest books by reformed authors, so goes the thinking among many Calvinists and Sovereign Gracers. You must read the proper authors, the best books, listen to other Calvinist or Sovereign Grace teachers only. And then only those that have the highest ranking.
Tulip-believing folks will often spout names such as Sproul, Edwards, Spurgeon, White, and the unforgettable Puritans. These are the names that impress; similar to shopaholics preferring high end labels on their clothing tags. While this list is certainly a list of Christians, it is also a form of idolatry. "I am reading the latest book by (insert name of approved author)." That is to be properly followed by comments of approval from others.
God will tear down idols.
When I realized that my precious reformed systematic theology was an idol, I felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath me. I was lost. "Where do I turn for guidance?" was my concern. I experienced this sense of loss and grieving for quite awhile. It was disheartening. I wanted to return to my beloved systematic, yet I knew God is a jealous God and would not allow me to return.
I turned to God and Scripture. That is where my heart lies. My goal now is to have faith in the promises of God.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Peter 2:1 NIV
After watching many discussions on this controversial verse, God has revealed to me that some interpretations deny exactly what scripture says. One group of people that often changes scripture's meaning is the Calvinists. Let me show you how it is accomplished with this passage.
Someone will ask about 2 Peter 2:1, and wonder if the Lord bought these false teachers, then it means Christ's atonement is for the whole world? A Calvinist will immediately reply, "No! We must look to see who Peter was writing to!" And when we do that, we see that this epistle is addressed generally, to those who have received faith; and to God's elect.
When we turn to 2 Peter 1 and see that this epistle is generally addressed to "those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" Even all the way back in 1 Peter 1, this epistle is addressed to many: "To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,"
Despite the general salutation in both 1 and 2 Peter, Calvinists will force their theology onto 2 Peter 2:1 and say that it refers to the Jews being brought out from Egypt; and that "bought" should read "brought". What?! By doing this, they are doing the same thing that the serpent did in Eden by asking, "Did God really say....?"
When one depersonalizes Scripture in this manner, it can mean that nothing applies to us. Or does it mean some of it applies to us, but not other parts? If the epistles of Peter are not for us today, then we should rip them out of our bibles.
We are to allow Scripture to wash over our minds and hearts, not keep it at arm's length by contextualizing our way away from it. When reading scripture, if it says "you" it means the reader or hearer. Do not deny that it is speaking to you.