Why Calvinism Matters

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There is always debate surrounding Calvinism and Arminianism. Some wonder if the labels matter, if we should take strong stands on either side, if we should just let it go and pretend they aren’t there.

They do matter.

Often, the debate between these two surrounds salvation.

Calvinism holds that “if saved, always saved.” Arminianism tends to hold that one can lose their salvation.

Calvinism holds that God took the first step to rescue sinners, while Arminianism holds that we choose to follow Jesus and Jesus is excited when we pick his team.

For Revolution, we are on the Calvinist side of this discussion, but also believe (as most Calvinist do) that there is a choice we make. The Bible is clear that God chooses, elects, whatever word you want to use and takes the first step towards sinners (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:3 – 10), but there is also a choice we make (1 John 1:9).

What I think many miss in this discussion is this: Your view of God is affected by your view of salvation. 

For a Calvinist, God takes the first step. God loves you, chose you, rescued you from your sin before you knew you were a sinner. God was working behind the scenes of your life to draw to himself. God is sovereign, in control, nothing happens without his direction or permission.

This belief affects more than just salvation.

This affects how we view suffering, injustice, the hurt we experience and the graciousness of God in all things. It also shows the power of God to not only rescue us, but keep us in his hand so that we cannot lose our salvation.

To me, Calvinism is bigger than “did we choose God or did God choose us” and affects so much more.

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6 thoughts on “Why Calvinism Matters

  1. Hey Josh. I wasn’t aware “most calvinists” believed we had a choice.

    At the same time, in my studies regarding Calvinism and Arminianism, I’ve found there lies quite a bit of middle ground.

    I’m also curious as to why you suggest labels matter. I’m of the opinion labels only matter for clarity’s sake in knowing where another person’s foundations are when discussing important issues. But outside of that, the only label that matters is Christ-like (or Christian, or Christ-follower – etc).

    I love respectful discussion on this matter. So I’m up for it if you are.

  2. Pingback: Top Post of June | JoshuaReich.org

  3. Arminians do not believe they act first or choose God. Arminians believe in prevenient grace and they are always responders. Let’s accurately represent both sides to further the discussion and not repeat folk theology

  4. I have a huge problem with God selecting people to go to heaven or hell. This is why I couldn’t label myself a calvinist. How about i’m just a Bible-ist. I agree with points of Calvinism and Arminianism as they line up with scripture- but the bible is clear that Jesus died for all and that God wills that ALL would be saved and that NONE should parish. A strict 5 point Calvinist has a hard time with these scriptures, not to mention explain to me what is in the character of God that would create some people for the sole purpose of NOT being saved and for the sole purpose of living a depraved life and going to hell with no hope of salvation. This does not line up with the heart of God or scripture, I’m just trying to understand, not be argumentative per se, how a strict calvinist gets past this? Yes, God chose ALL of us to follow him, he pre-destined us all to have a purpose, he DID take the first step, but we must choose Him, the bible doesn’t say he who is predestined is saved, it said he who believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth. That is fee will. That is a choice. Whats the point of evangelism if only those predestined will be saved, and if they are pre-destined, why do I need to go over seas and tell them, obviously if they are pre-destined God will take care of that. Just thoughts that run through my head that I can’t see Calvinism having answers to.

  5. Historically speaking, by uttering the phrase “there is a choice we make” you have placed yourself in the camp of Armenius, who was a follower of John Calvin. Jacob Armenius affirmed double predestination; he only insisted that humans were given the freedom to say, “no” to God.

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