Calvary Chapel claims to not be Arminian

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by alwaysreforming, Aug 10, 2006.

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  1. alwaysreforming

    alwaysreforming Puritan Board Sophomore

    While researching some stuff today, I came across an article where Chuch Smith talks about the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism and gives an assessment of both.

    It was far more unbiased than I would have thought... check it out:

    Chuck Smith on the 5 Points



    This is the closing of the article, just to have something to go on if you don't have time for the whole link:

    "It is not easy to maintain the unity of the Spirit among us on these matters. It seems that the sovereignty of God and human responsibility are like two parallel lines that do not seem to intersect within our finite minds. God's ways are "past finding out" (Romans 11:33), and the Bible warns us to "lean not unto thy own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). To say what God says in the Bible - no more and no less - is not always easy, comfortable, or completely understandable. But Scripture tells us that the wisdom from above will be loving and kind toward all, seeking the unity of the believers, not trying to find ways to divide and separate from one another. May God help us all to love each other, to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Jesus Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32)! In difficult doctrinal matters, may we have gracious attitudes and humble hearts, desiring most of all to please Him who has called us to serve Him in the body of Christ. Discussion - YES! Disagreements - YES! Division - NO!

    Jesus said, "By their fruit ye shall know them." When a particular position on the Scriptures causes one to become argumentative, legalistic, and divisive, I question the validity of that position. I seek to embrace those things that tend to make me more loving and kind, more forgiving and merciful. I know then that I am becoming more like my Lord. If you have come to a strong personal conviction on one side of a doctrinal issue, please grant us the privilege of first seeing how it has helped you to become more Christ-like in your nature, and then we will judge whether we need to come to that same persuasion. Let us always be certain to look at the fruit of the teaching.

    Seek those things that produce the loving nature of Jesus in our lives. I would rather have the wrong facts and a right attitude, than right facts and a wrong attitude. God can change my understanding of the facts in a moment, but it often takes a lifetime to effect changes of attitude."

    Yours in love,
    Chuck Smith
     
  2. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I'm not really a Marine. I just have a Commission in the Marine Corps and stand at attention when the Marine's Hymn is played.

    I think to be clear about terms is just divisive.

    I'm not American either. I just have a U.S. citizenship but don't want to distinguish myself from other human beings. That will just make them sad. Making people sad is divisive. Making people sad is wrong. Somebody might cry. Crying is bad.

    I think the best song lyric that sums up my feelings is: "If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right."
     
  3. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    So, Chuck and his minions in So Cal are going to stop calling Reformed congregations "cults," and they're going to stop shunning those in CC who leave to become Reformed? They're going to stop attacking us personally and theologically on the radio?

    I look forward to the new tone in Southern California and to their invitation to one of us to speak in chapel in Murietta.

    rsc







     
  4. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    There's no such thing as being in between an Arminian or Reformed. You're either one or the other.
     
  6. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    There's always full blown Pelagian...
     
  7. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Cult is an interesting word:

    1. Presbyterian pastors have to undergo years of shepherding and education. A person need only pay admission to the Calvary Chapel Bible School.

    2. A Presbyterian pastor has to be called by a congregation in order to be ordained. Calvary Chapel Pastors are ordained if they graduate.

    3. A Presbyterian Church is only particular if it has a plurality of elders. Calvary Chapel pastors open their own Churches like a franchise owner starts a new McDonalds.

    4. A Presbyterian Pastor is answerable to his local sesssion and to the Presbytery at large. A Calvary Chapel Pastor answers to nobody. Chuck Smith even eschews the idea of pastoral accountability calling Presbyterian Pastors nothing more than lackeys to a board of elders.

    Yes, how very cultic Calvinists are. Nothing like the safeguards and Biblical forms found in Calvary Chapel. :um:
     
  8. Mayflower

    Mayflower Puritan Board Junior

    [/quote]

    Where did Chuck Smith called reformed churches cults ? Any links ?
     
  9. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Where did Chuck Smith called reformed churches cults ? Any links ? [/quote]

    Ralph,
    I don't know that there is any documentation per se, but having come out of the movement, I can attest first hand that the Calvarians see Calvinism as abberant and a cult of error.
     
  10. Mayflower

    Mayflower Puritan Board Junior

    Ralph,
    I don't know that there is any documentation per se, but having come out of the movement, I can attest first hand that the Calvarians see Calvinism as abberant and a cult of error. [/quote]

    Dear Scott,

    I have een only once in the U.S, and that was in 1999, when i studied 9 months at the Calvary Chapel Bible College at Murriette Hotsprings.
    I know that the most here on the board really dislike CC, and i understand it. But to be honest i hath a wonderfull and great time there at the Bible College. I was just a new believer hath no knowledge at all from Gods Word, and through the expostionary preaching my eyes got open for the riches of God's Word. I met alot of prescious brothers and sisters from CC with whom i hath a great fellowship in the Gospel of grace. Throughs that Liberary that was on the Bible College i started to read Spurgeon, Lloyd Jones, Jonathen Edwards, John Owen & listen to tapes from John Piper. Even at the class of Missions we hath to read Piper's book on "Let the nations be glad". Iam not a Chuck Smith fan at al, and now after i embraced the calvinistic theology and Gods free Sovereinty, i see alot of error at the CC doctrine, but still i have been thankfull for the time towards God for my brothers and sisters there who helped me in studying the Word and to have communion with the TruineGod.
     
  11. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Dear Scott,

    I have een only once in the U.S, and that was in 1999, when i studied 9 months at the Calvary Chapel Bible College at Murriette Hotsprings.
    I know that the most here on the board really dislike CC, and i understand it. But to be honest i hath a wonderfull and great time there at the Bible College. I was just a new believer hath no knowledge at all from Gods Word, and through the expostionary preaching my eyes got open for the riches of God's Word. I met alot of prescious brothers and sisters from CC with whom i hath a great fellowship in the Gospel of grace. Throughs that Liberary that was on the Bible College i started to read Spurgeon, Lloyd Jones, Jonathen Edwards, John Owen & listen to tapes from John Piper. Even at the class of Missions we hath to read Piper's book on "Let the nations be glad". Iam not a Chuck Smith fan at al, and now after i embraced the calvinistic theology and Gods free Sovereinty, i see alot of error at the CC doctrine, but still i have been thankfull for the time towards God for my brothers and sisters there who helped me in studying the Word and to have communion with the TruineGod. [/quote]

    Ralph,
    There is no denying that God has saved men in this setting. I as well have precious friends still involved in the movement; You have to ask yourself, what kind of curve is God grading upon in settings like these? Is He grieved over the error that they perpetuate? Is He angered over the Arminianism? If not, could God be angered at all? It cannot be both ways. The fact is, Gods people will hear the truth and that truth will set them free; in other words, they will leave CC for a setting that can be called a church of God.

    Hosea 4:6 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
     
  12. srhoades

    srhoades Puritan Board Freshman

    I worked with a guy who was a Calvinist that was trying to get onboard with a Calvary Chapel missionary trip to Russia. Everything was good to go until they figured out he was a Calvinist and then they refused to let him go.
     
  13. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll

    Those who got to go had been chosen beforehand. They had limited accommodations.
     
  14. jetbrane

    jetbrane Puritan Board Freshman

    Smithism

    His depravity statement is contradicted by much else of what he says in his later statements.

    His Election statement is clearly Arminian.


    Code:
    We believe that God chose the believer before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6), and based on His foreknowledge, has predestined the believer to be conformed to the image of His Son 
    Arminianism is, at least in part, defined by the concept that predestination is based on foreknowledge. God, looking down the tunnel of time, knows ahead of time who will choose him (Arminian foreknow) and then predestines them.

    Code:
    God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God's invitation to salvation. 
    This is Arminian language again. A Reformed person would say that because God chooses, man obeys God's command to repent.

    His atonement statement is clearly Arminian.


    Code:
    We believe that Jesus Christ died as a propitiation (a satisfaction of the righteous wrath of God against sin) "for the whole world" 
    We know this is Arminian because Smithism is not universalism. If Jesus Christ died as a propitiation for the whole world (and I seriously doubt Smith is using the word 'World' there in some cosmological type sense but rather, as 'each and every individual that has ever lived' sense) and if the somebody that Jesus died for ends up being eternally seperated from God then obviously the propitiatory atonement of Jesus was limited by the sovereign will of the individual who trumped God's will in sending Jesus to die a propitiatory death for that sovereign individual.

    This is classic pop culture Arminianism.

    Smith's statement on Grace is confusing.

    Code:
    We believe that God's grace is not the result of human effort or worthiness (Romans 3:24-28; 11:6), but is the response of God's mercy and love to those who will believe in His Son (Ephesians 2:4-10). 

    A.) God's grace is not the result of human effort or worthiness
    B.) God's (response of) grace is the result of (the effort) to believe in His Son

    ?????????????????????????????????

    Smithism apparently holds that once we believe in Jesus then God responds by giving us mercy and love but why do we need God's mercy and love if we already believe in Jesus?

    Smith ends by affirming perseverance of the saints but in denying the other respective expressions of the one doctrine of Grace he ends up in one giant contradiction.

    Big surprise there.

    I would say most of what Smith is pushing in this statement is very reminiscent of pop-culture Arminianism.

    Bret
     
  15. srhoades

    srhoades Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm pretty sure he was chosen beforehand. The guy was going to sell all he had and relocate permantly to Russia.
     
  16. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Scott, you said this earlier:

    <quote>You have to ask yourself, what kind of curve is God grading upon in settings like these? Is He grieved over the error that they perpetuate?</quote>

    From where does this first question stem? God does not grade anything. He judges. And, he does not judge on any kind of curve. That question and its preceding logic are based in works righteousness. We are saved by grace ALONE. Not one our doctrinal understanding, good works, gentle spirit, or any other such thing. Surely you do not mean what you imply.

    Yes, God is grieved over the propogation of any error. Even that which we Reformed perpetuate. None of us has it all right.
     
  17. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Brother Lawrence,
    I thought you knew me better than that? :candle: The statement was made tongue in cheek. Sorry if I was not clear; I did say :

    In other words, God either grades everyone on a curve or He doesn't at all; and He doesn't, we know this, so, if this is the case, then he is judgementally angered and sickened over the errors that Calvary perpetuates. "It cannot be both ways!"

    We know God does not grade upon any curve; as you well state. That is the point. We know God hates sin and error, period. But the Calvarians believe God is 'slow to anger, abundant in compassion....hence, he will grade them upon 'a curve' that they have masterminded, only to their demise.

    I as well added the qualifier:

    Clearer? :book2:



    [Edited on 8-20-2006 by Scott Bushey]
     
  18. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Thanks for clarifying what you were saying.
     
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