Am I a Calvinist?

John Calvin | Christian History

Somebody out there thought she was putting the screws to me by forcing me to… admit!…that I’m a Calvinist. Like that’s bad or something.

My family is Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic–so naturally I was brought up and instructed in the Dutch Reformed Church. It’s now “the Reformed Church in America,” and full of liberals. But the old Dutch Reformed was Calvinist. So in that sense, I suppose that makes me a Calvinist. Sort of.

Here on this blog, our Christian community embraces people from many different denominations and from all over the world. Welcome, if you’re Catholic. Welcome, if you’re Protestant. Welcome if you don’t bother with the labels. We read and believe the Bible, Jesus Christ is our Savior and Our King, and we hunger for the day of His return–and meanwhile we work in His service. So we don’t bother with the labels, either. We like to think that here in America we’ve outgrown that old 17th-century European thing of trying to kill off everyone whose beliefs differ in any way from yours.

Calvinists believe that man is depraved, owing to Original Sin, and cannot save himself. Us Calvinists don’t believe in the worldly perfectibility of man. We don’t believe the vision of the omelet justifies breaking all those eggs. But to be honest, we didn’t need John Calvin to tell us that. St. Paul told us first–and he belongs to all the churches.

For the benefit of all Christians living in this evil age, let me close with a quote from Benjamin Franklin: “We must all hang together, or surely we will all hang separately.”

12 comments on “Am I a Calvinist?

  1. Right on, Lee! I believe that Jesus is deeply distressed about the denominational divisions among His people. Some day we will “all be one,” as He prayed to His Father in Heaven. “Father, that all may be one, as You and I are one.”

  2. I’m fine with no labels. My baptism was non-denominational, which has spared me the necessity of formally distancing myself from any church organization, if a perceive that they are going astray from the faith. I have watched friends who were members of denominations and have noted how they react if their denomination happens to adopt non-scriptural teachings. Sadly, in most cases, they double down on their commitment to manmade organizations instead of drawing closer to Christ.

    A while back, I spoke with a very good friend from decades back. He belonged to an denomination which has reversed its own teachings and policies and now embraces things antithetical to their claimed core beliefs. Though we hadn’t spoken in over 20 years, the tension in the air was palpable, because it was obvious that the common devotion to a belief system which had bound us as fast friends, no longer existed. Within minutes, we ended our conversation and I doubt that we’ll ever speak again. It was sad to see someone that had such faith having changed and placed his faith in a church on human origins rather than placing his trust in Christ, but it happened. There is virtually zero chance that he would read this post, but if he did, I would simply state that I must obey God as ruler, rather than man.

  3. As a Calvinistic Protestant, married to a Catholic wife (who loves Jesus as much as I do, but with whom I have some serious disagreements theologically), I am reminded of what the first (1533-1603) Queen Elizabeth is reported to have said when listening to the disputes of her countrymen regarding the Protestant-Catholic schisms: “There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith. All else is a dispute over trifles.” Loving Jesus, and believing in HIM as my Lord and Savior, is the bottom line. —Keep it up, Lee! I love your steadfastness!!! May God continue to strengthen you, and bless you and yours!

  4. By thinking it through I am glad to be a Calvinist who loves Luther’s liturgy. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 says the world will know Christ has been sent to the world from God when we His people are perfected in unity.

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