Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Labels


Why I'm a Calvinist! I'll admit, I'm one who does not like labels, and for sure there is something pure and simple about just answering with well, "I'm a just a Christian." We see no such labels in the the Bible, but we do see that they were called Christians in the book of Acts. Even the Catholic Church rails against Protestantism for all our divisions and labels.

An extremely interesting study would be to look at Church history and discover where all the different streams of denominations come from. One of my favorite classes when I was studying for my masters degree was a class on church history. We diagramed and outlined many of today's denominations and their founders with the history behind each one, quite interesting! 

So, why do we have a myriad of different denominations with different teaching and contrasting ways of doing church? Short answer, most all denominations started as a reaction to something that was askew in the church, so to answer the error another denominational sect was founded.

Let me now get back to my question, why do I label myself a Calvinist and not just a Christian? Or why not just label myself a Biblicist? that certainly covers all the bases.  Here is why I think of myself as a Calvinist, with the plethora of denominations and sects within Protestant Christianity, the label or tag of Calvinist distinguishes or qualifies my belief system. Now, I know that in our post-modern culture distinguishing yourself by what you believe is akin to blasphemy. It is like poison, and to be avoided at all costs, but what we believe about the Bible, Jesus Christ, redemption, salvation, justification matter to God, and doctrine is the foundation for the life of the believer.

The Apostle Paul while addressing young Timothy gives instruction on how the people of God are to conduct themselves as the Church, he tells Timothy, "If am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). The Church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth," pretty awesome responsibility that the Chruch is to place on her shoulders and carry---to protect the truth, to keep the truth, and to proclaim the truth, yes doctrine matters and matters supremely to God.

I call myself a Calvinist because the body of truth that Calvinism teaches captures God's plan to redeem his people in the most Biblical way. The teaching on soteriology that Calvinism purports is Christ honoring and exegetes the Scriptures in an honest and academic way, making the best use of grammer, historical context, and applies the rules of hermeneutics in the most precise way.

Today's blog does not go into the details of Calvinism, just lays out my position on why I align myself with the teachings of Calvinism.

                                      Colossians 3:17 

 "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."


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