One of my favorite warnings that came from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers had to do with communication. I have forgotten the context of the statement, but the statement itself stuck with me, and it stands as a permanent reminder to me of the truths of communicating. Whatever the context of his statement was, he was pointing out that some people will use, “God’s words, but their own dictionary.” Occasionally I find myself doing the same thing.
In my previous post, I referred to Calvinism as a heresy, without identifying, or explaining my understanding of Calvinism or Heresy, and the angry emails that followed at the very least gave me pause to think about the terminology that I used.
When I speak, and spoke of Calvinism, in the general sense I am speaking of the thought or teaching that God has limited His Salvation work, and has chosen certain people to go to heaven, and certain people to go to hell, and that man has no free choice. At this point I am not going to explain why Calvinism is not true, because better minds than mine have done better jobs than I can do here.
To quote the KJV Study Bible, their notation states, “The word heresy literally means ‘choosing one’s own ideas,’ but now refers to that which is untrue.” This is my understanding. When I refer to heresy, I am referring to an “untrue” teaching. I am not speaking of “APOSTASY” as though someone has departed from the faith. In my understanding of the concept, I understand that it is error, or wrong, or incorrect; as though teaching that 3 + 3 is 8. I think for some the concept of the definition of heresy is on the same level as apostasy, and as I understand it, it is not.
The battle concerning the doctrine of Salvation is an issue of what is TRUE and what is NOT true, and the teachings of “unconditional election,” “limited atonement”, and “irresistable grace” is not true.
But I am not writing this to defend those points. One of the things that struck me was the anger, and tone of some of the emails that I received from “brothers” in Christ. Even more than that, the politically correct mindset that many Baptist’s have today concerning truth and error was an underlying tone of one of the emails. One of the calmer messages that I received said, “It is one thing to disagree with Calvinism, it’s another thing to call it heresy.” Which is another way of saying, “you can believe that calvinism is wrong but don’t say that as though you are certain of the truth.”
The problem is that I am certain. I do not intend to sound arrogant. I am certain that cheeseburgers are good, I am certain that the Arkansas Razorbacks are red, I am certain that I love my children, and I am certain that Jesus died for the whole world. I am certain that whosoever will may come. I am certain that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. As A.R. said, “God chose all of the whosoever’s that will.”
Now that being said, one of my favorite preachers is Al Mohler. I always enjoy listening to him, and he’s right on almost everything, but what he has said concerning Calvinism (as I understand it) is not true. Spurgeon was wrong about it to0, and whoever else down through history that has taught that Christ didn’t die for the whole world but for a select few. I liked D. James Kennedy, but I’m not Presbyterian for a reason. I am certain that they are wrong about many things. There are many “heresies” or “untrue” or “incorrect” teachings going on there, but not everything that he taught.
Now back in 2004 when I began attending the Pastor’s Conference in Florida, there was little doubt among the messages preached that Calvinism was “untrue.” Ergun Caner’s message stands out in my mind for one, what is more, is the crowd’s response to the anti-Calvinistic messages stands out in my mind. They were certain then that Calvinism was not true. Many of us still are.
All of that being said, I truly have no intensions of being offensive and the Lord knows that is true. But I for one am certain that Jesus came and died for the sins of all mankind, and that whosoever will come to him in Faith and Repentance by Grace He will save them. I believe to say there are some that God has chosen to be condemned to hell is just not true.
I hope and pray for the best for Mac Brunson and for FBCJ. I look forward to attending, and enjoying the time of refreshing, and renewing. I am certain that Jesus will be glorified above all things.