Thursday, April 11, 2013

Argo on Neo Calvinism

As I mentioned to Argo, full understanding of Neo Calvinism still defies me though I understand it better this year than last year. But while commenting on The Wartburg Watch,  I asked Argo to please "nutshell" for me the root cause of abuses in the Neo Calvinist movement which Argo has done.

In order to keep track of his comment I'm going to both link and cut and paste it here.

Well, in a word: sure. The whole of Calvinisms despotism can be boiled down to this fact: every core assumption is designed to separate man (men and women) from himself. You are either ruled by your “sinful nature” or you are ruled by the inexorable “irresistible grace” of God. Holding all of this together is the false understanding of God’s sovereignty. Meaning God ultimately controls ALL things, which makes Him the functional author of all the good and evil you do. Which is certainly a tacit admission that God causes evil; but worse than that, and more to the actual truth of the matter, is that this leads the faith inevitably to a place of moral relativism. For two reasons. One: if God controls all things then even things that are ostensibly “evil” are God’s will. Two: if man is indeed wholly depraved, utterly wicked apart from God, then man’s morality ends with his PERSON. And this is important. IF the whole of man is evil then his “sin” is his very existence. Not only does this assumption lead to abuse for obvious reasons, but it equates fully man’s morality the same “perfection” as God’s. You end up with a disturbing gnostic dualism of sorts. God is ALL good, man is ALL evil leaves no arbiter between the two. There is no objective morality that IS the pure and perfect standard. In short, God’s good and man’s evil become mirror images of each other. This is hard to understand I know, but if we understand that man’s person (the human) is fundamentally GOOD, then the dualism is IN MAN (his sinful choices juxtaposed with his righteous human worth, as Paul states in Romans) and the perfect standard of morality is God. Now, they will say they believe this, but they do not. Calvinism’s false doctrine will never suffer the idea that there is ANY good or worth in man. And this is precisely why they cannot truly love, and why the doctrine is inherently abusive.
The authoritative source on this is the Bible, of course. But dump the reformed premises. Focus on how what you are reading actually correlates with REALITY. Focus on how Jesus interacted with “sinners”. What do you think His assumptions were regarding the fundamental worth of humans? And pray for wisdom. God will give you truth.

Direct Link to Argo's comment

All my visitors are free to make comments here, agreeing or disagreeing.
I just count Argo's comment as another step on this strange road of understanding New Calvinism.

Thanks Argo


Kristen said...

Agreed. I have seen a pattern that whenever systematic abuse occurs, somewhere at the root is a sort of anti-humanism. Humanism means a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each individual human being. Jesus was very much a humanist according to this definition. One problem is that in the last century Christians tied humanism to what was called "secular humanism," which is a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of individual human beings, but absent the belief in God. Not all humanism is secular, and not all secular belief systems are humanist(Communism as practiced by Mao and Stalin is essentially anti-humanist).

When the human being is devalued in Christianity to the extent that he/she has no inherent worth and dignity, anti-humanist Christianity results-- and so does spiritual abuse. But this is not what Christ or the New Testament teaches at all.

Mara Reid said...

So, carrying this to an extreme...

Calvinism shouldn't care that much about being pro-life since it doesn't value individual humans...

Kind of joking...

Sort of...