Friday, February 20, 2009

Foxes Tending The Coup

Exploring a couple of links in a separate discussion, I came across a comment in a short article by a Calvinist on one of the more aggressive promotion sites. The author was attempting to chastise what he refers to as a "neo-gnostic Calvinism" in which Calvinism is expressed as the only true faith and gospel that the body of Christ can hold to. While agreeing with his concern over such schismatic fellows, the author tars himself with his own brush making grandiose claims that are actually nothing more than sectarian polemics. The following was the opening to one of his articles that I shall link to for reference.

Who among us who have been illuminated by the Spirit of God to heartily embrace that exalted system of Pauline Theology commonly called "Calvinism" can forget the sublime joy experienced when these verities became manifest in our believing heart? For many of us grasping these truths or better, being gripped by these truths, was the real "second blessing" in our Christian pilgrimage. For me personally, sovereign grace teaching revivified my entire demeanor as a saint and delivered me from the morbid introspection engendered by Arminian, fundamentalist pietism. I have a passionate commitment to Calvinistic soteriology and am quite emphatic in my apologia for these truths that so exalt and glorify the grandeur of the Sovereign Triune Lord. Thus, it is with both sadness and reticence that I issue this urgent caveat regarding an extreme chimerical form of Calvinism that is spreading great mischief among the elect of God and dear souls seeking spiritual solace. (1)

As a lover of Christ and Arminian, this stance is reprehensible to me. It is perhaps, no, it is, more dangerous than the bile presented by those neo-gnostic Calvinists he opposes. The Body of Christ does not take serious any threat from such foolish minded men as these "Gnostics" but the subtle heresy of the author in question is a dangerous seduction. There are people who might read such falsehoods thinking this is a moderate road when in fact it is a radical departure from orthodoxy. It is the sentiments expressed by the author that give birth to the very heresy he opposes. Calvinism is a systematic study and approach to the scriptures that is heavily opposed by most of the Body of Christ. To refer to Calvinism as being illuminated by the Spirit of God or representing the "second blessing" of the Christian experience is nothing but the chimera he opposes in others. The doctrines of Calvinism have fueled oppression and a murderous spirit since it's "illuminated" birth in the 16th century. Rather than being the "exalted system of Pauline Theology commonly called Calvinism", it is instead the long musings of a handful of men based almost entirely on an extrapolation of Augustinian teaching rejected by the church of his day. How is it that men can posit a caste system within Christianity while chastising those of their own ilk who reject any tiered level of sanctification or salvation? The neo-gnostics are at least consistent in their rejection of non-Calvinists as brethren. Men such as the author of the article instead fabricate a special illumination and a special blessing that must be either hid from most of the Body or it must be stated that most of the Body is in rebellion against "God's Calvinism". Either position is untenable and inexcusable.

I can be thankful most of the great Body of Christ rejects such spurious thought, either that of the "neo-Gnostic Calvinists" or their ideological helpmates, "mainstream Calvinism", as the author seems to represent.

  1. Greg Fields –The Bane of Neo-Gnostic Calvinism