Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What it means to be Reformed

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10 ESV)

One of my dearest friends in the ministry is an Assembly of God pastor. Knowing that I am a Calvinist, he sent me an e-mail asking for help understanding what Reformed people think.  It seems a self-described Calvinist had posted on his Facebook account.  Examples of his comments are below:
[Chuck Colson] is a false prophet, a deceiver, who seeks to beguile the minds of the masses.
{In response to Pastor Bob's exhortation to refrain from judging} You have given the typical non-discerning, "judge not" response that has so characterized the American church for the past two centuries. Discernment is good, but for you Pharisees who think you are holier than God, all you can do is love people. Of course, you hate the elect because you turn the world over to the wolves with your theology.
Sorry, Bob, but I reject your Arminian tinged theology (and even if you are a Calvinist, there are plenty of Calvinists who seemingly can't break from the legacy of Arminian thought in their everyday lives). It is not my desire, nor my duty, to set every man straight who is in error. 
Ah, I just checked your profile and saw that your are with the lunatic Assembly of God "denomination." Explains a lot.
Bob, I will answer you once you tell me how the people of God are benefited by "speaking in tongues" and rolling around the floor barking like a dog. Oh, and I also would like to know why you consider gibberish such as "Ishdabnodawkoshb" is a coherent language. And, let me know the last time the Assemblies have executed a false prophet (every one... See More of your churches has at least a couple).  
You see, Bob, I consider the AoG to be like the Church of Christ, a false church led by fools and wannabe magicians.
My pastor friend emailed asking me if this type of behavior was typical of Reformed thinking.  I replied, "this man certainly isn't Reformed. I see no evidence that the Holy Spirit has reformed anything about him. The stench of sin, hatred, and death is upon him."

Perhaps my statements were harsh. I am still praying through whether or not my response was biblically appropriate (I fear they lack the very grace I found lacking in him).  But I am deeply concerned with any definition of Reformed that does not begin with God's re-formation of our hearts.  The core belief of Calvinism is that God, through Christ, has created a clean heart and renewed a right spirit within His elect. To verbally express the 5 points of Calvinism while simultaneously spewing the venom of hatred only proves that our hearts were formed in the fires of Hell.

O that God would raise up a generation of Calvinists who are as committed to living out the same grace upon which our doctrines our based.

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