19 May I am neither Calvinist or Arminian, I am a Follower of Christ.
When asked the question, I generally answer that I am neither Calvinist or Arminian, but that I am a Follower of Christ, and a Biblicist of you will. While this may sound like a cop-out, I suggest it isn’t. If we engage only the biblical written text without extending beyond what is written, then we will not conclude in favor of either system (Calvinist or Arminian).
People in “churches” love to associate, identify themselves with everything under the sun, a person, doctrine, movement, creed, a church, their pastor, anything other than Jesus Christ and the word of God.
Rather than study and know the word of God, they fill themselves with, spend their time reading the latest most popular “Christian” books, writings by mere men such as Calvin, Luther, and host of “Church” pastors and theologians, even radio talk show host that they follow and use to critique, interpreter, judge the bible by. Instead of learning the bible and critique, judging the writing of mere men according to it. They have elevated these people and things to be greater than the word of God. They spend more time talking about Calvin, Luther and others more than Jesus, follow the writings of, teachings of them more than the bible.
Rather than abide in Christ and He in them, rather than proclaim Christ and His words, “Whatever I tell you in the dark, that speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, that preach on the housetops.” They proclaim the words of mere men instead of the words of Jesus.
Rather than be filled with, walk in, listen to the Holy Spirit, they would rather be filled with the knowledge of and listen to Calvin and and others of the reformation.
“Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)
A modern paraphrase of that verse would be:
Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Calvin,” or “I am of Arminius,” or “I am of the Reformation,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Calvin crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of the Reformation?
And later Paul writes:
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. Because, I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
This is where I live at, “I’m of Christ and Christ alone”, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That’s me. A follower of Christ.
God wants us on our face before Him……searching the scriptures…… not Calvin. If you have to avoid, create excuses as to why a verse, or even whole book is not true, write it off as being symbolic, or figurative, or whatever in order to make what you believe ture. Then there is something wrong with your theology, doctrine, your beliefs. Too many people take a black marker (symbolic) [a little humor] and mark out bible passages, rewrite and entire book so that their doctrine is true. Like the more than two dozen passages that make Calvin wrong on so many things.
If 2 Timothy 3:16 is true: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” and Romans 15:4 “Because, whatever things were written beforehand were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” And 2 Peter 1:20-21 “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. because, the prophecy in old times did not come by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
If you claim that Jesus is your Lord and savior, God come in the flesh, creator of all that is, and died for your sins, rose from the dead. Why would you go to someone else, elevate them above Jesus, above the word of God? Think that you need another set of writings to know the truth about Jesus. I do not understand why anyone who is saved, a follower of Christ would turn to anyone other than the author and finisher of our faith. Would proclaim, brag, quote anyone other than Jesus, than the very living Word of God.
In Matthew 4:4 it says: But He replied and said, “It is written, ‘Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Note it does not say from the mouth of Calvin, the reformers, or anyone else.
And in John 16:13 tells us: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; because, He will not speak on from Himself, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will show you things to come.” And John 14:26: “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”
Note it does not say when Calvin comes, or the reformers comes, it says the Holy Spirit will come He will guide you in all truth.
As for me, I’m going to keep studying and believing the word of God and follow Jesus only, proclaim, shout from the rooftop “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.