From the Way of Strife … I mean Life, Friday Church News Notes for January 23, 2009, comes this hand-wringing warning (note my emphasis in blue):
A WARNING ABOUT THE GROWTH OF CALVINISM (Friday Church News Notes, January 23, 2009, http://www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) – The following is from a reader in California: “I am thankful to our Lord for your distinct Biblical opposition to Calvinism. I am even now re-reading a piece of yours titled ‘Calvinism’s Proof Text Examined.’ I thought that you might appreciate any information which further confirms your views that Calvinism is a threat to Biblical churches. To whit, my family and I just left a church which we attended for a year having only recently discovered that it was Calvinist. The pastor at this church is from Master’s Seminary. Master’s is cranking out Calvinists faster than even the SBC. John MacArthur has become increasingly Reformed notwithstanding his eschatology, and more worldly I may add. I cite the ‘Resolved Conference’ for youth as evidence of both. The conference is hosted by Grace Community Church, in Palm Springs. It features Mr. MacArthur, John Piper and C.J. Mahaney, etc. Succinctly, it is a Reformed rock concert, a sanitized equivalent of your average collegiate spring break. … It has a following of thousands of young, and not too young, people.”
When I was deciding to come to Master’s seminary way back in the 90s, the draw for me was the fact Master’s was passing out Calvinism degrees faster than congress is handing out money. We memorized 5 sermons, each one covering the individual points of Calvinism. And I added a bonus sermon to my collection just on the subject of God’s sovereignty. And I certainly was eager to join that Reformed Calvinist Burning Man festival in the desert above the Salton Sea otherwise known as Resolved. We learn all sorts of Calvinist rock music and hurl ourselves at each other in the Calvinist mosh pit.
In reality, the true problems for churches are not Calvinistic pastors preaching the doctrines of Grace. Sure there have been Calvinist pastors who have caused problems in a local church. I would even add, graduates from Master’s have been trouble making pastors in a church.
But from the testimony of people I have encountered over the last decade or so who are graduates from Master’s, or any other Calvinistic leaning seminary, the biggest problems are not faithful men who happen to be Calvinist. You know, those men who pour themselves into serving their church and feeding them the Word of God.
No. It is those people like this gossiping email writer. That handful of spiteful, unregenerate congregates who probably have never been correctly taught the Bible before, who react angrily to a pastor who teaches a lesson from a biblical passage that takes away their false belief in radical autonomy and the control they believe they have over their eternal destiny, and places it squarely in the hands of God alone. It is these members who begin a gossip campaign to smear the pastor’s reputation which eventually results in the church being split or the pastor run out of town altogether.
And the bulk of these sinful agitators are emboldened in their strife by the bad teaching found at bro. Cloud’s website pertaining to Calvinism.
And to think this one person has the gall to send an email complaining how it is the Calvinists messing up the church.