The X-Calvinist Corner is a page on this website that shares the stories of people who were once Calvinist but have left Calvinism for a more Arminian theology. This series (The X-Calvinist Corner Files) highlights one of the testimonies from the X-Calvinist Corner in each installment.
Today’s testimony is from a man named Steve, though his submission is unusual in that he was never a Calvinist and speaks more simply to his bad experience with Calvinism:
I don’t have anything like the length of reply that most of you guys have put forward but I can say that the damage done by so-called Calvinists around the area where I live cannot be glorifying to the Name of the Lord Jesus. I cannot say that I have ever been Calvinist but I have definitely looked at it along with other viewpoints and also because a fellowship I belonged to was infiltrated by individuals who were really hyper Calvinist. These people sought to divide the body and were vindictive to the point of declaring those who would not agree with them ‘unsaved’. The whole thing was an absolute mess.
I have learnt much in a painful and quite unnecessary manner. All objective discussion disappeared and it became simply a personal vendetta based on the principle that ‘we are right and you are wrong’. I am still very interested in theology and the validity of the various positions as they stack up against the Word of God. Nothing threatens me because I feel it unnecessary to become some sort of card carrying member of any viewpoint. I like nothing more than to converse about these positions, but when it takes an ugly personal turn then I am out of there. It’s a waste of time.
In terms of the Calvinist view specifically, I, like some of the folks above, have real misgivings about the interpretation of scripture with regard to getting it to ‘fit’. I believe much of the prooftexting and out-of-context rendering that occurs makes it virtually impossible to come to support of the Calvinist position. Everything from John 3:16 ‘world’ is the elect to renderings of Romans 9 and double predestination etc. etc. are fundamental misunderstandings of the Scripture or at worst ‘idolatrous venerations of a theological system’. We had one guy come down to a men’s group meeting and try to tell us that ‘God was behind the controls of the planes that flew into the towers on 9/11’. That’s a quote by the way. I challenged these people on this and finally asked them the question, ‘Is God a rapist?’ This was in response to a discussion where they claimed that God does everything and we do nothing (in fact God authors sin). Their answer was ‘yes’. Because I guess it had to be if you follow the logic to its conclusion. TULIPs got a run. I am fascinated with the Synod of Dort and Luther and his insertion of ‘alien’, his trouble with James (and rightly so) etc. etc.
I have recently come across some very good objective discussion on all of this and it is really heartening to be in contact with people who are not threatened but are willing to discuss this and other matter objectively.
I could prattle on but you get the drift I think.