How I Became A Calvinist!

Sketo

Well-known member
Before I became reformed, or knew anything about it, I was going to Faith Independent Baptist Church (FIBC), while listening to John Piper at the same time. I was in discipleship at FIBC once a week and after a while I started noticing small differences in their theology.

As time went on the differences started to grow and I became confused, so I asked my pastor, at the time, if he knew of John Piper. He said he did and also said Piper believed in this thing called Calvinism. By the Grace of God I had never heard of this term for the two years I had been listening Piper, and was never taught to stay away from it.

I asked him what it was and he sat me down and wrote on a piece of paper T.U.L.I.P. Then he proceeded to go through each point describing his Arminian understanding of each. After he described them, I said to him “If anyone believes this crap then they are a fool and I’m done with them”! Then he said “John Piper believes this” and I was devastated.

At the time I loved Piper’s preaching, but then I was told he believes this... Calvinism. I thought “In my two years of listening to him I have never heard him talk about these things, but if he does teach this then I am done with him”.

I went home so confused! I thought I have grown so much form Pipers preaching and now I have to let him go. Then I thought I would at least give him a chance before I let him go, so I went to the DesiringGod website and typed in the search box... TULIP... and there it was... “What We Believe About Calvinism the Five Points of Calvinism”. I downloaded and printed out the 26 page doc and read it three times.

Needless to say I realized that what John Piper believed and what my pastor told me “he believed” were two completely different things. I brought the document to my pastor and said “what you say he believes and what he says he believes are not the same”!

At that time my pastor removed me from the discipleship program and told me “you are not allowed to speak to anyone in the church about this except for my deacon and I until you get this figured out”!
I had no clue it was that big of a deal! A week later I asked if I could return to the discipleship program and he asked “First what do you believe about Calvinism now?” I said the document still makes sense to me. Then he said “Then I can not allow you back into discipleship or teach or speak to anyone in the congregation!”. I asked what can I do then and he replied “you are welcome to sit in the pew like everyone else but you can not speak to anyone about this subject!”. I was devastated to say the least!
We went to church two more weeks and both weeks he preached against “his form of Calvinism” and I realized then that we were not welcome there anymore! He did not kick us out but he did make it extremely uncomfortable for me to “sit in the pew”!

I decided it was time to find another church and told my wife the situation and she did not know anything about the debate! She was broken that we had to leave! I prayed and struggled with the decision to leave! Finally it was clear that truth mattered more than feelings so the next Sunday I went to the pastor and I told him we have to leave. He said he knew it was coming to that! I said please before we leave take down your Bible and let’s talk about these things! Then I said “I can not help what I see in the Bible now! Keep in mind we have not spoke about it since I showed him the pdf. His response broke me... he said “I have given you all the time I am going to give you”! I said “then this will be our last time here”!

The final kicker...
He then asked if he, and his wife, could speak to my wife privately before we left “to say goodby” and I thought nothing of it and agreed...

We went home and my wife did not know what to say or do! I looked for some churches. Went and interviewed pastors. I spent three Sundays trying to decide if I done the right thing flip-flopping back and forth should we go back or not!

Then my wife told me what that pastor and his wife said to her....

He said and I quote “The Bible says you should follow your husband... but your husband is going to lead you and your kids straight to hell”!!!

What was my wife supposed to do with this? A preacher agains me!
My wife did not want to go to any church with me for 2 years because of what he said! It took a long time to get her to trust me again! Finally she understands the doctrines and realizes that I made the correct choice we are now in a Reformed Church and happy to be there!

I thank God that I was not taught “Calvinism” was a bad word before I understood it!

If you are interested... the document that drastically changed my life can be found here...
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
The final kicker...
He then asked if he, and his wife, could speak to my wife privately before we left “to say goodby” and I thought nothing of it and agreed...

Under the circumstances, I would never have allowed that.
There's nothing he can say to her that he can't say in front of her husband.

Then my wife told me what that pastor and his wife said to her....

He said and I quote “The Bible says you should follow your husband... but your husband is going to lead you and your kids straight to hell”!!!

What was my wife supposed to do with this? A preacher agains me!
My wife did not want to go to any church with me for 2 years because of what he said!

And THAT is precisely why.



Thank you for your testimony.
It confirms what I've experienced for decades.

Calvinists can accept Arminians as fellow Christians.
But Arminians cannot accept Calvinists as fellow Christians ("Your husband will lead you and your children straight to hell!").
 

civic

Well-known member
wow @Sketo whether one in a Calvinist or Arminian Church that is so wrong to tell the other side they are going to hell. The unfortunate thing is some make our differences salvific and they are not.

What a horrible experience and the pastor was WRONG on so many levels the way he handled your situation. And that must of been so challenging and an uphill battle to gain your wife's trust back as the spiritual leader of your home.
 

civic

Well-known member
Under the circumstances, I would never have allowed that.
There's nothing he can say to her that he can't say in front of her husband.



And THAT is precisely why.



Thank you for your testimony.
It confirms what I've experienced for decades.

Calvinists can accept Arminians as fellow Christians.
But Arminians cannot accept Calvinists as fellow Christians ("Your husband will lead you and your children straight to hell!").
what a terrible experience.

and to be fair I have heard some calvinists on CARM who think the same way about Arminians. But the majority of us hold them as brothers in the Lord.
 
T

TomFL

Guest
wow @Sketo whether one in a Calvinist or Arminian Church that is so wrong to tell the other side they are going to hell. The unfortunate thing is some make our differences salvific and they are not.

What a horrible experience and the pastor was WRONG on so many levels the way he handled your situation. And that must of been so challenging and an uphill battle to gain your wife's trust back as the spiritual leader of your home.
I have to agree
 

preacher4truth

Well-known member
Before I became reformed, or knew anything about it, I was going to Faith Independent Baptist Church (FIBC), while listening to John Piper at the same time. I was in discipleship at FIBC once a week and after a while I started noticing small differences in their theology.

As time went on the differences started to grow and I became confused, so I asked my pastor, at the time, if he knew of John Piper. He said he did and also said Piper believed in this thing called Calvinism. By the Grace of God I had never heard of this term for the two years I had been listening Piper, and was never taught to stay away from it.

I asked him what it was and he sat me down and wrote on a piece of paper T.U.L.I.P. Then he proceeded to go through each point describing his Arminian understanding of each. After he described them, I said to him “If anyone believes this crap then they are a fool and I’m done with them”! Then he said “John Piper believes this” and I was devastated.

At the time I loved Piper’s preaching, but then I was told he believes this... Calvinism. I thought “In my two years of listening to him I have never heard him talk about these things, but if he does teach this then I am done with him”.

I went home so confused! I thought I have grown so much form Pipers preaching and now I have to let him go. Then I thought I would at least give him a chance before I let him go, so I went to the DesiringGod website and typed in the search box... TULIP... and there it was... “What We Believe About Calvinism the Five Points of Calvinism”. I downloaded and printed out the 26 page doc and read it three times.

Needless to say I realized that what John Piper believed and what my pastor told me “he believed” were two completely different things. I brought the document to my pastor and said “what you say he believes and what he says he believes are not the same”!

At that time my pastor removed me from the discipleship program and told me “you are not allowed to speak to anyone in the church about this except for my deacon and I until you get this figured out”!
I had no clue it was that big of a deal! A week later I asked if I could return to the discipleship program and he asked “First what do you believe about Calvinism now?” I said the document still makes sense to me. Then he said “Then I can not allow you back into discipleship or teach or speak to anyone in the congregation!”. I asked what can I do then and he replied “you are welcome to sit in the pew like everyone else but you can not speak to anyone about this subject!”. I was devastated to say the least!
We went to church two more weeks and both weeks he preached against “his form of Calvinism” and I realized then that we were not welcome there anymore! He did not kick us out but he did make it extremely uncomfortable for me to “sit in the pew”!

I decided it was time to find another church and told my wife the situation and she did not know anything about the debate! She was broken that we had to leave! I prayed and struggled with the decision to leave! Finally it was clear that truth mattered more than feelings so the next Sunday I went to the pastor and I told him we have to leave. He said he knew it was coming to that! I said please before we leave take down your Bible and let’s talk about these things! Then I said “I can not help what I see in the Bible now! Keep in mind we have not spoke about it since I showed him the pdf. His response broke me... he said “I have given you all the time I am going to give you”! I said “then this will be our last time here”!

The final kicker...
He then asked if he, and his wife, could speak to my wife privately before we left “to say goodby” and I thought nothing of it and agreed...

We went home and my wife did not know what to say or do! I looked for some churches. Went and interviewed pastors. I spent three Sundays trying to decide if I done the right thing flip-flopping back and forth should we go back or not!

Then my wife told me what that pastor and his wife said to her....

He said and I quote “The Bible says you should follow your husband... but your husband is going to lead you and your kids straight to hell”!!!

What was my wife supposed to do with this? A preacher agains me!
My wife did not want to go to any church with me for 2 years because of what he said! It took a long time to get her to trust me again! Finally she understands the doctrines and realizes that I made the correct choice we are now in a Reformed Church and happy to be there!

I thank God that I was not taught “Calvinism” was a bad word before I understood it!

If you are interested... the document that drastically changed my life can be found here...
Count your BLESSINGS brother, and that is a blessing.

We had the POLICE called on us in church before. May detail later.

I would have never allowed that snake and his wife to talk to my wife alone. That was divisive, low, and unChristian. I am very glad God opened your eyes to the truth!
 

JDS

Well-known member
wow @Sketo whether one in a Calvinist or Arminian Church that is so wrong to tell the other side they are going to hell.
I would not say this is not reported accurately but it would be interesting to here the testimony of the other side of this story. Men do not go to hell because they change churches, they go to hell because they are unsaved. What one believes about Jesus Christ and and his salvation and how to get it is salvific, if that is a word. What if that fact was really the pastor's concern? Thank God for pastors who care enough to guard his flock from false teaching. Would the Calvinist pastor he has now do that if faced with the same scenario? Would he let the non Calvinist preach and teach his congregation? How many of you Calvinists have so called Arminian teachers in your church?

The message of Calvinism is different than what I preach about getting saved and both can be wrong but the difference is so great between us that both cannot be right. Just so you know. I am a Baptist but not Reformed. I don't even know how Baptist and Reformed can be used together.
 

civic

Well-known member
I would not say this is not reported accurately but it would be interesting to here the testimony of the other side of this story. Men do not go to hell because they change churches, they go to hell because they are unsaved. What one believes about Jesus Christ and and his salvation and how to get it is salvific, if that is a word. What if that fact was really the pastor's concern? Thank God for pastors who care enough to guard his flock from false teaching. Would the Calvinist pastor he has now do that if faced with the same scenario? Would he let the non Calvinist preach and teach his congregation? How many of you Calvinists have so called Arminian teachers in your church?

The message of Calvinism is different than what I preach about getting saved and both can be wrong but the difference is so great between us that both cannot be right. Just so you know. I am a Baptist but not Reformed. I don't even know how Baptist and Reformed can be used together.
I know plenty of CALVINIST Pastors who believe just like I do and our differences are not salvific.

My present pastor and my previous one are Arminians and we are great friends. Also one of my good friends I golf with is the Pastor of an Arminian church and the same with him. No problems with fellowship.
 

JDS

Well-known member
I know plenty of CALVINIST Pastors who believe just like I do and our differences are not salvific.

My present pastor and my previous one are Arminians and we are great friends. Also one of my good friends I golf with is the Pastor of an Arminian church and the same with him. No problems with fellowship.
Did we not just have a conversation on what it means to be born again and how close was we on what that means? You think men were born again since the beginning of the world, it seems to me. Now, that is a great gulf. You must at least know what salvation is before you can preach it, don't you think?
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
What one believes about Jesus Christ and and his salvation and how to get it is salvific, if that is a word. What if that fact was really the pastor's concern? Thank God for pastors who care enough to guard his flock from false teaching. Would the Calvinist pastor he has now do that if faced with the same scenario? Would he let the non Calvinist preach and teach his congregation? How many of you Calvinists have so called Arminian teachers in your church?

The issue is NOT that he was removed from teaching. That is understandable.
The issue is that he BANNED Sketo from even discussing his views, even in a non-authoritative context.
The issue is that the pastor was so UNLOVING towards Sketo that he refused to discuss the issues with him ("I have given you all the time I am going to give you!").

If the pastor is SO SURE that his view is correct, why can he not have bothered to invest time in discussing the issues with Sketo?

If it were an Arminian in a Calvinist church, I would agree that he could not teach views contrary to the church's teachings (eg. in Bible study or Sunday school). I would not "ban" him from discussing his views with other parishioners, and in fact might use that as an opportunity to bring the issue to the forefront and discuss it.

Calvinists aren't afraid of their beliefs being challenged.
Why are Arminians?

The message of Calvinism is different than what I preach about getting saved and both can be wrong but the difference is so great between us that both cannot be right.

That's true.
And the view that "instruments aren't allowed in church", and "instruments are allowed in church", likewise both cannot be right.

And the view that "you can only sing Psalms in church", and "you can sing hymns and choruses as well", both cannot be right.

But those are not things to cease fellowship over.

Just so you know. I am a Baptist but not Reformed. I don't even know how Baptist and Reformed can be used together.

Have you ever heard of a 331-year-old document called the "Second London Baptist Confession", of 1689?

Have you ever heard of "Particular Baptists"?
 

Septextura

Well-known member
Great testimony, brother.

I watched Kevin Thompson, Steven Anderson and similar channels on YouTube and was taken back by the level of animosity against Calvinism. They say there's a conspiracy of intentional infiltration by Calvinists into fundamentalist Baptist churches, with plan to slowly switch them towards Reformed theology. They genuinely believe Calvinism is of the devil.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Great testimony, brother.

I watched Kevin Thompson, Steven Anderson and similar channels on YouTube and was taken back by the level of animosity against Calvinism.

Yep... Anderson certainly is a piece of work.
KJV only..
Teaches "Koine Greek" (from the Textus Receptus, of course).
And his "lexicon" is, "However the KJV translates the term".
 

Septextura

Well-known member
Yep... Anderson certainly is a piece of work.
KJV only..
Teaches "Koine Greek" (from the Textus Receptus, of course).
And his "lexicon" is, "However the KJV translates the term".

You could be Reformed Baptist KJVO and you would still get the same treatment. Possibly with even more paranoia.

P.S. Although I just remembered Anderson vouched for couple of Reformed Baptists as being saved because they are TR/KJV advocates. His congregation went bonkers.
 
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TomFL

Guest
The issue is NOT that he was removed from teaching. That is understandable.
The issue is that he BANNED Sketo from even discussing his views, even in a non-authoritative context.
The issue is that the pastor was so UNLOVING towards Sketo that he refused to discuss the issues with him ("I have given you all the time I am going to give you!").

If the pastor is SO SURE that his view is correct, why can he not have bothered to invest time in discussing the issues with Sketo?

If it were an Arminian in a Calvinist church, I would agree that he could not teach views contrary to the church's teachings (eg. in Bible study or Sunday school). I would not "ban" him from discussing his views with other parishioners, and in fact might use that as an opportunity to bring the issue to the forefront and discuss it.

Calvinists aren't afraid of their beliefs being challenged.
Why are Arminians?



That's true.
And the view that "instruments aren't allowed in church", and "instruments are allowed in church", likewise both cannot be right.

And the view that "you can only sing Psalms in church", and "you can sing hymns and choruses as well", both cannot be right.

But those are not things to cease fellowship over.



Have you ever heard of a 331-year-old document called the "Second London Baptist Confession", of 1689?

Have you ever heard of "Particular Baptists"?
Second London Confession Baptist confession of faith drawn up in 1677 revising the First London Confession of 1644. Like the Savoy Declaration of 1658, it was an adaptation of the Westminster Confession, reaffirming its Calvinism. Adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1707, it became the doctrinal standard of the Baptist churches until it was superseded by the New Hampshire Confession of 1832.

George Thomas Kurian, Nelson’s New Christian Dictionary: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001).

Particular Baptists. Calvinistic Baptists with origins in English Puritanism. English Particular Baptists, following the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, believed that God redeemed only “particular” individuals. This opposed the Arminian concept of “general” redemption held by General Baptists and many Anglicans. They emerged from a Southwark (London) Puritan-Separatist congregation which Henry Jacob had gathered in 1616. Later known by the last initials of its first three pastors, Jacob, John Lathrop and Henry Jessey, the “JLJ” Church, which practiced infant baptism, experienced several schisms. During Lathrop’s pastorate, Samuel Eaton formed a strictly separatist church (1633), some of whose members were rebaptized probably because they rejected Anglican baptism as corrupt. In 1638 the first English Calvinistic Baptists began meeting when six members explicitly favoring believer’s baptism left the JLJ Church.

Daniel G. Reid et al., Dictionary of Christianity in America (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990).
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Second London Confession Baptist confession of faith drawn up in 1677 revising the First London Confession of 1644.

Oh goodie... You've figured out how to work "Google".
Congrats!


[...]

George Thomas Kurian, Nelson’s New Christian Dictionary: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001).

[...]

Daniel G. Reid et al., Dictionary of Christianity in America (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990).

Not an original bone in your body...
 

civic

Well-known member
Did we not just have a conversation on what it means to be born again and how close was we on what that means? You think men were born again since the beginning of the world, it seems to me. Now, that is a great gulf. You must at least know what salvation is before you can preach it, don't you think?
quit putting words in my mouth I never said anyone was born again before their physical birth what kind of nonsense it that ?
 
T

TomFL

Guest
Oh goodie... You've figured out how to work "Google".
Congrats!




Not an original bone in your body...
Why is it you always have to respond with a snarky reply ?

I did not get it from google but my Logos software if you must know
 
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