Sometime ago a former member of Berean wrote a very disparaging letter about me and accused me of being a Calvinist. Now Charles Spurgeon was a Calvinist through and through so this really isn’t like being called a heretic or something. Yet I do not call myself a Calvinist and don’t call myself a Calvinist.
After hearing a few sermons he made a decision and refused to discuss the matter with me in person. As many of you know I am always available to discuss what I believe and why I believe it. I will also tell you when I don’t completely understand something.
I don’t follow John Calvin I follow Jesus Christ as My Lord and Savior. He has the preeminence in my life and his leadership in my every decision is my daily goal. I don’t agree with the doctrine of limited atonement. I don’t understand how a Calvinist completely reconciles that with the Biblical reality that anyone may be saved. I know what verses Calvinist use and this is a very tough subject.
I believe the Bible is very clear in teaching that man has a free choice to make and must make a choice. God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17.30). Yet I also know that no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws them. I also know the Bible is clear that God is Sovereign.
I believe the Bible—every verse—and I believe I should preach and teach everyone one of them even though I may not be able to reconcile all of them.
Be very careful of one who presents themselves as having a full or complete knowledge of all the Scriptures. This is often more pride than anything else.
To call me is a Calvinist is a misrepresentation of what I believe. As such it is slander and those who are doing such are guilty of slandering my reputation.
Calvinists are often accused of being non-evangelical. This is another reason why I must defend my reputation. One of the last things I would want to be accused of is not being concerned with the souls of man. I am very concerned about the souls of man and my obedience and the church’s obedience to the Great Commission.
A thorough review of my preaching, the decisions and direction I am leading the church and my personal actions will strip anyone of any evidence that I am a closet Calvinist who isn’t concerned about the souls of man. This is an attack against the church from the outside.
However having said all that, I would never disparage the character or reputation of man because he states he is a Calvinist. Some of the greatest preachers the world has seen associated with the views of John Calvin—Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon—are just two examples. Let us examine a man on his own merits without attempting to put an unnecessary label on them.
To sit back and listen to another person slander someone is to participate in that slander.