The Endless Calvinist-Armininus debate     

                   Can they both be right?              

                                             

 

 

                                                              

 

 

   John Calvin                                                                                                                                                                                     Jacobus Armininus

 

 

 

I belong to a Church which claims and tries to be an Inter-denominational Church. I say try because it is a challenge to have any body or group, function in unity as a single entity and yet contain within itself a wide diversity of what I would call secondary or peripheral practices beliefs and doctrines.

For the Inter-denominational body to work the most important aspect is to have a clear understanding of what the core belief of this group is. This basic foundation is something that everyone must have in common to even consider mutual fellowship as fellow believers.

It is also important for everyone in that body to understand that everything else that is not considered the core belief should never cause division between the members.

This means that we must be willing to set aside our "Religion". Beliefs and practices that though they might be important to us, we must be realized that they are not essential to being a part of the family of God as "Core". Our pet doctrines that are not a part of that vital inner circle of beliefs , should translate into a trust for God and His Spirit to control and lead others as well as ourselves in peace and harmony.. This letting go process is the hardest part of humanity. It means we must respect and see God in our fellow brothers and sisters in spite of their conflicting particular non-essential beliefs.

A flood of fears and thoughts of diluting the faith or the prospect of allowing corrupting doctrines into the church are amply provided as suggestions by the enemy. The better equipped the Christian is as a warrior for the Lord the more apt they are to engage a combat mode against the powers of darkness. The only problem is the battle is being engaged by Christian against Christian while Satan is laughing at both behind the scene. In the process the real enemy does his dirty deeds unhindered by both Christian camps because they are so busy fighting each other they donít even realize where the real war is.

No single doctrine of the church has done so much to divide us and keep us from working as one than the age old debate between Calvinism and Armenism.

Without even addressing the differences or even defining here, what they are (look them up in any good Bible Dictionary) letís look at a few observations.

In my almost thirty years of ministry I have observed and known many godly men who are from both theological camps. I have seen in them the fruit and blessings bestowed upon them that can only come from a close and personal relationship with our Savior. This tells me two very important things that should be noted

1. If the Holy Spirit is flowing through both individuals in spite of their different doctrinal beliefs, it tells us that apparently God does not take issue or have a burning passionate problem with either system. That being the case Why do we make it such a problem? Why, you might ask? Doesnít one have to be right and one wrong? Apparently not! If one was wrong and it was an important issue, the Spirit of God would withdraw from them until there was a repentance and correction. Examples would be any group that wanders into becoming a cult group. God will withdraw His very presence from them until there is repentance and a re-alignment to the "Core" of the faith. This is exactly what happened to the cult group called the Way International. They are now back into the mainstream of the Church because they believe in a "Core" that they once deviated from.

2.As we see that God accepts individuals from both camps and rejects neither, this kind of forbearance tells us that there must be truths in both camps of theology. It is the only thing that makes sense as to why God blesses both and condemns neither belief system or their believers. How can two seemingly opposed beliefs be melded into one system? The answer lies in understanding man as a three dimensional being made in the likeness of a three dimensional creator. The body cannot be redeemed it must die to be raised new. The soul is an on going battle which is in a continual process of being redeemed. It has been accomplished on the cross as one act but only actualized by the individual in a continual process. Our free will to yield to Godís likeness determines how much of our soul remains with us in eternity. That is Christ in us our Hope of Glory. Our Spirit is redeemed as one complete act or as the Word says "sealed until the day of redemption". There are many other points that can be explained with the help of the Parallel Dimension Model. In this model exists a harmony to understanding the truths in both camps. I realize than in this short writing I have simplified and not addressed any other issues and aspects of differences between the two doctrines. Perhaps someday I can devote more time on the specific doctrines. The purpose and intent of this short article was to reveal to you the reader, that in observation of the Holy Spirit upon both camps, we should not make these differences a factor to divide us. If God does not have a problem neither should we. Someday maybe we will truly define what our core beliefs are and have a respect and consideration toward each other in other differences and truly act like one family of God and simply do the work and commission we were asked to do. In this we must be willing to Lose our religious attitudes and dogmatic ways. Then and only then will true revival be experienced. Anything less is just religious rhetoric.