Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's really no big secret that I'm a Calvinist. Yes, I said it. A Calvinist. However, I never meant to become one. It really wasn't in the plan. Infact, I'm not even sure when it happened, but one day I realized that I had strayed far away from my Arminian roots. Growing up, Calvinism made me conjure up ideas of people being dragged into heaven kicking and screaming and babies burning eternally in the lake of fire. Certainly I would have said that God was in control, yet when that thought seemed to infringe upon my free-will, then I would conveniently and quietly dismiss it. I was a staunch believer in man-made terms such as fair, that I knew I must squeeze God into. I would pick and choose scriptures that fit my ideas and skip over others that didn't. I thought Calvinism made God look bad, so I didn't like it. Basically, that was the case.

However, at some point, I really began studying the issue with a mind far more open to the possibility that my theology could be somewhat flawed. And although it was a long process, and involved working through numerous issues, the one that finally broke me was total depravity. (There's been lots of discussion about that idea on the site lately and I'm not attempting to be contentious or start a 100 comment post, just to chronicle my story.) I realized that if I was going to accept the doctrine of total depravity, which I did, then I also had to accept the rest of the tenants that Calvinist theology espoused. I realized that if man was truly dead in his sin and transgressions, that free-will wasn't even an option. For the first time it hit me that salvation wasn't a life raft that Jesus threw to me as I flailed in the water - but salvation was Jesus plunging to the bottom of the water, retrieving my dead body, and bringing it back to life. For once, it wasn't about me.

I don't submit to anyone that I will ever come close to having any of this figured out. Yet, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, even though I never intended to be, my name is Christie and I am a Calvinist.
posted by Christie