Should A Pastor Be Fired For Teaching Calvinism?

, posted by SEA

written by SEA member Roy Ingle

I saw a brief post the other day where a Calvinist brother was complaining about a pastor who was fired for teaching, in his words, “the doctrines of grace” or for us Arminians, that would be Calvinism. Do I believe this should take place?

A couple of thoughts about this.

First, was the church an Arminian church? If so, the man out of integrity should have resigned and moved on to a Calvinist church. I had a friend who was Assemblies of God which is historically an Arminian fellowship. This brother embraced Calvinism and I applaud him because rather than try to argue with the Assemblies of God, he resigned from the fellowship and moved on to Reformed Baptist church. Though I disagree with his Calvinism, I applaud him for having the integrity to not lie to the Assemblies of God and moving on. If the man above was pastoring an Arminian church and he began to teach “the doctrines of grace” then I too would have asked for his resignation. He would know that the fellowship is not a Calvinist fellowship and yet he sought to undermine the fellowship by bringing division into the church with his teachings. This is neither biblical nor right. Would a Calvinist appreciate an Arminian taking a Calvinist pulpit and teaching the “doctrines of grace” as we see them in Arminius? I suspect not.

Secondly, I believe it is dishonest not to tell a church what you believe if in fact you disagree with their views. I know of one man who pastored an Assemblies of God church and he not only embraced Calvinism but he openly opposed the Assemblies of God. It took the A/G’s over a year to get the church to remove him and he left with about half of the congregation to start near by Reformed Baptist church. I believe this man was not honest with his church nor with the Assemblies of God. The A/G’s require each pastor once a year to agree with the A/G doctrines and practices. If they disagree, they can resign and move on. It is dishonest to say you agree with an Arminian fellowship simply to keep your position and promote teachings that are contrary to the fellowships teachings.

I know that some Calvinists will say that Calvinism is the pure gospel and that Arminianism is man-centered theology that needs to be corrected. But honestly, do you believe that a person should lie to a board of elders to keep a position with which they are secretly disagreeing? Do you believe that the Spirit of God would lead a person to openly bring division to a church that knowingly disagrees with that said position?

1 Corinthians 1:10 says that we should all speak the same thing. This doesn’t mean that we all agree on all issues but rather that we agree on the essentials of the gospel. Arminians and Calvinists do agree on the essentials. Should we divide a fellowship which disagrees with our own views while at the same time appearing to agree with that fellowship outwardly? I believe honesty requires that we should confess our views if they are opposed to the fellowship that we are apart of, especially if we are involved in teaching the Word of God. I believe that no Arminian should seek to divide a Calvinist church nor vise versa. If we disagree with the fellowship, resign and attend a fellowship that agrees with your biblical views.

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