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 JML Cassian. You can really feel the frustration and passion for the word in this man’s account. I did edit one phrase for being graphic; I apologize to JML for that. His unedited testimony can be found at the original site:
I was looking for a church that did expository preaching of the scriptures, instead of the pop psychology, feel-good, 15 minute sermonette.
That church was a 5-Point Calvinist church that also held theology classes once a week for 3 hours. I loved it—until I started having serious doubts about the twisting of some of the scriptures I was being taught.
When, in class, I started expressing the way those scriptures were being interpreted, I was, basically, told to shut up and eventually I would “get it.”
I despise condescending attitudes, especially when I am as well read as any Pastor.
I think one of the last straws was John 1:29. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Not complicated at all. I was asked “what do YOU think that verse is saying?” I said, without hesitation, “I think it means Behold! the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
The response, after all the condescending sneers? Guess! “But he did not take away the sin of the world.”
I replied, OK, then why does it say that. Why are you completely contradicting scripture?”
It was that way on almost all of the universal passages we are all familiar with.
I’ve read all the Puritans,, Calvinist theologians, A.W. Pink and debated the issues.
However, something funny happened to me in the process. I had to be honest with myself and admit that some of the explanations I was putting on the problem verses, were nothing short of absurd.
My story is not unusual, I suspect, but it was a huge decision for me to abandon Calvinism. But I have, and I feel like the weight of the world (not all kinds of worlds) has been lifted off my shoulders. You know, kind of like Atlas Shrugged.
The scriptures have been opened to me like never before. What a concept: read the scripture and understand what it means by what it plainly says.
Back to John 1:29 for example. The Lamb of God who takes way the sin of the world—are you ready for this—takes away the sin of the world.
Instead of having to read a 200-page doctoral dissertation explaining that the sin of the world means he didn’t take away the sin of the world, and that world doesn’t mean world, and suffer the idiotic charge “then all most be saved,” I can just use the analogy of scripture and let the scripture interpret the scripture, instead of someone else’s interpretation of scripture interpreting scripture.
Yes, but…but.but….but, THAT verse CAN’T mean that, because….blah, blah, blah. ad nauseam.
I am now being shunned by my church and most “friends.” So be it. My mommy told me there would be days like this!!
Truth cannot be defeated and the Scriptures are God’s REVEALED message to man. A message in plain, understandable language that any 5th grader can understand.
It’s the REVEALED WORD, not some mystical, coded, esoteric message that require a book to explain that the word “all” really means all in those passages referring to salvation. It reminds me of one of our Presidents (I won’t mention a name), who wanted to know what you mean by “is.”
And the bottom line for me is the pure pleasure it has become to read the Word and understand it for what it actually says, instead of having to indulge in all these floating abstractions masquerading as concepts, as “explanations” for what the passage “really” says.
I also have noticed now that I’m on the opposite of the Calvinists, that they don’t like to respond directly to questions or comments on some of these verses or doctrines.
For example, I have repeatedly asked them to show me a verse that says God “decreed” that Eve should fall. I’m not saying He didn’t know that, which is an entirely different matter.
Or, for them to give me just one scripture, get this, only ONE scripture that implicitly states that God died ONLY for a particular group and said “so what?” with all the rest. Just one. Needless to say, I haven’t received that verse yet. Wonder of wonders, don’t you think!!!