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Author Topic: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism  (Read 10596 times)

Drew

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Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« on: August 29, 2003, 08:02:22 AM »
It is no secret that Calvinists are not really "Passionate" about evangelism? It seems most would rather cut off their arm than make disciples. Evangelism and Calvinism are so far apart that they will not go together without great force.

I have not seen one Calvinist yet bring the gospel that someone might be saved, they teach that if it's God's will, he'll save whoever he wants so they don't have to do anything but go to church and condemn sin.

So what about this doctrine that Calvinists should not evangelize? And how is this in agreement with Jesus telling us to go and make disciples of men? Thus making Calvinists against God's mandate.

Theophilus

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2003, 01:35:12 PM »
Hello Drew,

I really do not know where you are getting your data and/or conclusions from but what you say it's all not correct.  It is true that there may be some people who call themselves Calvinists a do not preach, but it is also true that there are as many who call themselves Arminians and do not preach either.

But, in any case, the history of America and Europe is full of Calvinists who preached and made disciples.  You have men to the stature of Charles Spurgeon who has no equal in his Biblical preaching, men such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.  Today you have men as John MacArthur, Allister Begg and many more who while being Calvinistic (Reformed) in their soteriology, are passionate preachers of the Gospel.

The fact that there are more non-Calvinists preaching than Calvinists preaching is due to the fact that there are much more non-Calvinists than Calvinists.  Calvinists are out-numbered about 10 to 1 (my guess), so that is probably why you say what you say.  

But anyway, based on that logic (ie. that you do not SEE Calvinists preaching the Gospel and making disciples) we could say that Mormons and JW preach more than Evangelicals, because  I see more Mormons and JW preaching in the streets than I see Evangelicals of any denomination.  But there is a problem in that conclusion, what the Mormons and Jehova Witnesses preach is NOT the Gospel, is not Grace, is works.  So perhaps there aren't that many people preaching the TRUE Gospel after all, and maybe the majority of those preaching the TRUE Gospel ARE Calvinists.

You say "it is no secret..." but i think "it is a distortion of the facts".

And for that 'Calvinist' word, is better not to use it; "Refomed" would be a better word, or better yet plain "Christians".  We follow Christ, NOT Calvin around here.

Blessings and Peace,

Jorge



Drew

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2003, 05:26:20 PM »
It's not a misrepresentation, Calvinists say to me all the time that, "As a Calvinist, they believe that we have no power over what takes place here on earth, or over God's plans." They insist that God is fulfilling his own will and implimenting his own plan that includes everything that is happening or that will happen. Therefore, everything that is happening is ultimately God's Will and there is nothing that we can do about it. Are you going to deny that? I don't think so. Our evangelism according to the followers of John Calvin is of no purpose. Because it's already settled, evangelism makes no difference.

Carol

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2003, 06:14:36 PM »
You are not understanding Drew.

You said:  
Therefore, everything that is happening is ultimately God's Will and there is nothing that we can do about it.

Yes, and our preaching is God’s will.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.   Mark 16:15

You said:
Because it's already settled, evangelism makes no difference.

That's not what the word says:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?   Romans 10:14

We are to evangelize and preach the gospel.  That's how the elect are saved  --by the hearing of the gospel.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  Romans 1: 16

The elect will hear the gospel and be saved:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:   And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.  John 10:27-28

Isaiah 55:11 says:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.


But how shall they hear without a preacher?   Romans 10:14b

Carol
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But gives me neither feet nor hands.
Far grander news the Gospel brings:
It bids me fly and gives me wings!"
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Kenneth White

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2003, 03:23:40 AM »
First of all, Calvinism is an unfortunate label that some in the reformed community have unwisely chosen to embrace as some kind of badge of honor. Thankfully, most of us in this forum don't choose to be called Calvinists or take his moniker because we don't follow Calvin or be misconstrued as doing so.  We're biblical Christians because we follow the bible.

I personally don't believe in Calvinism. I think it's wrong to follow the teachings of church fathers, but I recognize that a lot of well meaning but (in my opinion) foolish people call themselves Calvinists (which means "of Calvin"). I believe in biblical christianity, predestination, the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace as laid out in the bible, not the writings of John Calvin.

John 10:4-5
 "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."

I'll even agree with you that there are some of these stodgy, indifferent and inactive Calvinists who seem against evangelism, but they are not the majority. When you look at reformed protestant church history you can see this is evident as you read of men like Carey, Flavel, Judson, Bunyan, Spurgeon and a host of others who were burning with a heart of evangelistic joy. So to say that Reformed Christians are not evangelistic is way off base. A few groups are, but they do not speak for the majority.

What you may be thinking of is what has been called Hyper-Calvinism. That's a different matter. I do not think that there are any hyper-calvinists here. Anyone who has read the writings of John Calvin should know that he was one of the great evangelical preachers, as was Charles Spurgeon. In fact he's called the prince of preachers.

So stop listening to Arminians trying to define Reformed theology and beat biblical Christians with a stick by means of this red herring. With only one notable exception, do the Christians in this forum seem unevangelistic to you? No, most all preach the gospel of salvation.

Proverbs 1:5-6 "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings."

Robert63

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2003, 09:19:40 AM »
So stop listening to Arminians trying to define Reformed theology and beat biblical Christians with a stick by means of this red herring. With only one notable exception, do the Christians in this forum seem unevangelistic to you?

Evangelical with one notable exception. hmmmmmmm. Now who could that be?  ;D


Peng Bao

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2003, 03:34:50 AM »
If evangelism is defined by Christians being like Jehovah's Witnesses who go from door to door making a nuisance of themselves by interrupting peoples dinner, or prescribed by standing on the street corners and handing out tracts, or by Pastors making an offering to people in church that they can be saved today if they just come forward, then maybe you've got a point and the reformed church is not passionate about evangelism. But that's not the definition of evangelism. Evangelism is teaching that we live a godly life consistent with the scriptures, to make our calling and election sure, and to work in the historical apologetic ministry of proclaiming the gospel of the finished work of Christ that gives us/them/you a reason for our hope. So I would say that the reformed church is very passionate about evangelism.

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2003, 01:11:17 AM »
Quote
Thankfully, most of us in this forum don't choose to be called Calvinists or take his moniker because we don't follow Calvin or be misconstrued as doing so.  We're biblical Christians because we follow the bible.

Well, I think this might be worth a poll.  We don't have many around here...

The things is, Arminians call themselves biblical Christians.  Sometimes such labels are useful to distinguish.  We are all witnesses for Jehovah, but it would not be helpful to call ourselves Jehovah's Witnesses.

Quote
I think it's wrong to follow the teachings of church fathers

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."  Exodus 20:12




Kenneth White

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2003, 08:04:43 AM »
The things is, Arminians call themselves biblical Christians.  Sometimes such labels are useful to distinguish.  We are all witnesses for Jehovah, but it would not be helpful to call ourselves Jehovah's Witnesses.

I see your point. But I think the counter point is far better. Just as it is not helpful to call ourselves Jehovah's Witnesses, I don't think it helpful to call ourselves Calvinists. Because we become a sect apart from Christianity rather than the undivided body of Christ.

Paul was a Pharisee, but when he became a Christian, he was not a old school Christian, he was merely a Christian. There aren't Jewish Christians, Pauline Christians, Lutheran Christians or Gentile Christians, we are all one body. We don't need these labels that divide us into sects. If we want to distinguish ourselves, then we should do it by our doctrines, not by taking the name of any man as a Church "Father" like Calvin, Pope Peter or Lutheran. Christ is the only name we should be known by.

Proverbs 1:5-6 "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings."

John

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2003, 06:42:38 PM »
Therefore, everything that is happening is ultimately God's Will and there is nothing that we can do about it. Are you going to deny that?

Proverbs 21:1  The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever he will.

Is it not true that salvation belongs to God, are we not appointed to salvation:

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ

Is not everything we do and say simply God working through us, we cannot claim any merit for our own.

... for by grace ye are having been saved, through faith, and this not of you—of God the gift, not of works, that no one may boast; for of Him we are workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God did before prepare, that in them we may walk. Eph 2:8-10

Knowing this then, that God is Sovereign and saves who He will, what is our job?

Mark 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Matthew 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.


Our evangelism according to the followers of John Calvin is of no purpose. Because it's already settled, evangelism makes no difference.

An evangelist is a 'publisher of glad tidings', we evangelize when we preach the good news.

Acts 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

That is the job of each Christian. Going into the market place and declaring the good news: There is a means of escape from the wrath to come. Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!  Preaching this truth is what sets Calvinism (so-called) apart from all the other inventions of men (man-centered works gospels).

Do you think preaching a false-gospel of man cooperating with God in salvation has merit? The difference in message and approach to preaching is derived in the different gospels underlying Arminianism and Calvinism. An Arminian seeks to get the hearer to 'accept' Jesus or some other phony construct -- thinking that the affirmative nod to be salvation. We know that in reality, the seed of preaching will only grow in a cultivated heart (regeneration is of God) not through enticing speech and tickling of ears.

 Corinthians 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power

Preaching then is not in vain, for it used by God unto salvation.

...in whom also we have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, for us to be to the praise of His glory, who previously had trusted in Christ; in whom also you, hearing the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise Eph 1:11-13

We hear the word of truth BECAUSE we are chosen, predestinated according to God's purpose by the counsel of His own will for the reason of giving glory to Him, so that by His will we shall trust in Christ upon hearing the gospel of truth and believe. Therefore, salvation is not in mere words, but it is the power of God that made the hearing and believing possible, yet all unseen.

The Calvinist approaches preaching differently than the Arminianist. The entire matter is in God's hands, we are only to preach as a witness to the truth that we have been given.

 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Perhaps because the Calvinist rightly understands that we are only witnesses and are not little saviors, there is little attention to feelings and emotional pleadings common with those seeking by all means to pull out of the hearer the desired phrase "I accept Jesus". This lack of salesmanship may appear to be coldness to some. Where are the desperate pleas? Where is the preplanned road to salvation? Where are the leading questions designed to elicit the desired programmed response?  It isn't there because God does not need our help to grease the skids with slick words.

I contend that preaching from a framework of Biblical Salvation (not Arminianism) has been the means by God to build His church for 1070 years. The false salvation message may generate some emotional enthusiasm but the hearer will return to the mire, for it is divorced from the power of God.

 1 Thessalonians 2:4  but as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who tries our hearts.

Hebrews 4:2  for we also are having good news proclaimed, even as they, but the word heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard,

john
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Christ_Alone

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2003, 04:05:12 PM »
Amazing the stuff you read online sometimes...  >:(

Who are all these Calvinists sitting on their hind ends, in blatant disobedience to God's word, refusing to share the gospel?

I know alot of reformers, sov. gracer's, calvinists, etc. (call them what you will, they all pretty much hold to the same doctrine of sovereign grace), and NONE of them, believe that evangelism is NOT their job.

Scripture is so clear on this - it is by the preaching of the Word - that God has ordained men to be saved.  What a wonderful motivation to share the gospel - see - where the 'willie' (arminian) has no sure hope at all, that ANYONE hearing the gospel will ever be saved, us wacky reformers know for a fact, that SOME of them, WILL!

Just my .0148357 cents (Canadian exchange rate, it's a killer  ::))
In His love... CA

Drew

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2003, 03:16:43 AM »
It is no secret that those who call themselves Calvinists are not really "Passionate" about evangelism, rather they re indifferent? It seems most today would rather cut off their arm than preach to someone or attempt to make disciples. Don't quote Spurgeon, because Spurgeon (unlike calvinists today) preached the gospel and called people to repentance. The calvinists today are another elitist breed.

Romans 10:15 "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

I don't know of any calvinist articles saying go out and preach the gospel to the world, make disciples and win souls like Spurgeon did. I don't know of any Calvinist tracts, and I don't know of any Gospel tract companies by Calvinists, do you? I'd like an answer to that. Nor do I hear any Calvinists having evangelism conferences. Why? Because they don't believe in them.

They even edit out Spurgeon's sermons that deal with evangelism or about making the call. When is the last time you heard a calvinist quote Spurgeon saying that soul winning is the Chief job of a Christian? They don't do it, so how can you say they are evangelistic? I have Spurgeon's Evangelism lectures in a book of his called "The Soul Winners" and in it Charles H. Spurgeon stresses the need to witness to people one on one on a regular basis. And we all know that Calvinists today do not do that. There is a lack of passion for Evangelism by Calvinists, that other reformed groups, and also those who don't believe in election, have. This site is the exception to the rule (even though I disagree with election), and I don't think it coincidence that they don't call themselves Calvinists, but Reformed.


Anne

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2003, 09:18:53 AM »
I would somewhat agree that some calvinists do not have a passion for evangelism, but it's not the majority. No, they don't preach as Spurgeon did, but few today do. He was an extraordinary man. But that doesn't mean they're not evangelists.

This site has a search engine full of evangelistic reformed articles from many reformed sites. So you cannot paint everyone with the same brush.

billnjune

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 07:17:41 PM »

In the process of reading some of these old threads, I was a little appalled by the idea that Calvinist / Reformed / Sovereign Gracers / True Christians or whatever you may like to call them are not evangelistic.  I realize that most of these posters are no longer with us, but I was wondering what they had been reading or studying or thinking about? 

I am sure that Paul nor the apostles were not Calvinistic or Reformed since they were pre-Reformation period.  Nevertheless, there were those who remained true to the faith, but were quickly killed by the Catholic Church if discovered and that is why these great men are not recorded in history.
Romans 11:4  "I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."

I have spent some time and compiled a list of faithful men who were faithful to the scriptures, boldly proclaiming God’s truths and in many cases until death.

"Reformed Theologians "  "Free-Will Theologians"

           Pelegius (345-430)
St Augustine (354-430)
Peter Waldo (1140-1217)
John Wycliffe (1324-1384)   
John Huss (1369-1415)
Thomas Müntzer (1489-1525)
Konrad Grebel (1489-1526)
Felix Manz (1498-1527)
Balthasar Hubmaier (1485-1528)
Georg Blaurock (1492-1529)
Ludwig Hatzer (1500-1529)
Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)

           Erasmus (1466-1536)
William Tyndale (1494-1536)
Jakob Hutter (1500-1536)
Melchior Hoffmann (1489-1543)
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Martin Bucer (1491-1551)
Hugh Latimer (1487-1555)
Nicholas Ridley (1500-1555)
Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556)
Philip Mlanchthon (1497-1560)
Jan Łaski (1499-1560)
Menno Simons (1496-1561)
Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562)
John Calvin (1509-1564)
Guido de Brès (1522-1567)
John Knox (1505-1572)
Peter Martyr Vermigli (1519-1572)
Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575)
Duke of Alva (1507-1582)
Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583)
John Foxe (1516-1587)
Caspar Olevianus (1536-1587)
Peter Dathenus (1531-1588)
Richard Hooker (1554-1600)
William Perkins (1558-1602)

          Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)
Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605)
John Preston (1587-1628)
William Feellinck (1579-1629)
William Ames (1576-1633)
Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)
John Cotton (1584-1652)
Obadiah Sedgwick (1600?-1658)
Samuel Rutherford (1600?-1661)
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
John Goodwin (1594-1665)
William Guthrie (1620-1665)
Thomas Manton (1620-1677)
William Gurnall (1617-1679)
Stephen Charnock (1628-1680)
John Owen (1616-1683)
John Bunyan (1628-1688)
John Howe (1630-1705)
John Flavel (1627-1691)
Joseph Alleine (1634-1668)
Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
Cotton Mather (1663-1728)
Nathanael Stone (1667-1755)
Benjamin Wadsworth (1670-1737)
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Thomas Boston (1677-1732)
John Gill (1697-1771)
Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

           John Wesley (1703-1791)
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
George Whitefield (1714-1770)
Howell Harris (1714-1773)
David Brainard (1718-1747)
John Newton (1725-1807)
Abraham Booth (1734-1806)
Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)
Henry Martyn (1781-1812)
Andrew Fuller (1754-1815)
William Carey (1761-1834)
Christmas Evans (1766-1838)
Robert Haldane (1764-1842)
Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843)
Archibald Alexander (1772-1851)
William Cunningham (1805-1861)

           Charles G.Finney (1792-1875)
Charles Hodge (1797-1878)
A.A. Hodge (1823-1886)
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
W.G.T. Shedd (1820-1894)
George Muller (1805-1898)

           Dwight Moody (1837-1899)
John Charles Ryle (1816-1900)
Augustus H. Strong (1836-1921)
Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)
B.B. Warfield (1851-1921)
Philip Schaff (1852-1941)
Arthur Pink (1886-1952)
Louis Berkhof (1873-1957)

           C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
John Murray (1898-1975)
M.D. Lloyd-Jones (1900-1981)
G.C. Berkouwer (1903-1996)
Loraine Boettner (1901-1990)
John Gerstner (1914-1996)

           Billy Graham (1918-)
J.I. Packer (1926-)
R.C. Sproul (1939-)
D.A. Carson (1946-)
John Piper (1946-)

Note: If you have names that I can add to this list please send them to me.
Note that the names should be of persons fairly well known to someone aquatinted with post-apostolic church history (listed in the Wikipedia).
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Trotter

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Re: Calvinists, Calvinism and Evangelism
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 06:03:42 AM »

To be fair, there are quite a few "Calvinists" that have an attitude of, God is sovereign in who he saves (which is true), and therefore my job is not to evangelize (which is not true) but to feed the Church. Calvinistic missions are practically non existant. Try and start a list of those. You might get 1 or 2.


 


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