Friday, March 04, 2005

Religious Urban Legends

A few months ago Kristin hit it off with another homeschooling military family. The ladies eventually got around to talking about church preferences and Kristin's new friend was surprised to hear that our background is Presbyterian. With a repugnant expression she said, "don't they believe in predestination?" My wife replied in the affirmative. The other lady replied with exasperation, "but don't you believe in evangelism?!?"

This misperception came up again today. A friend of mine who recently discovered the doctrines of grace met with his Southern Baptist pastor to discuss matters. The pastor said he's leery of Calvinism because it's bad for evangelism.

A pastor (especially one in the reforming SBC) should know better. Doesn't he know that many of the greatest missionaries were Calvinists? Pioneer missionary, and Baptist, William Carey was a Calvinist for crying out loud! What inspired the determination to plant the Gospel in every nation on earth? Calvinism.

Calvin himself, while ministering in France, also sponsored missions throughout Europe and even as far afield as Brazil.

No more of this nonsense. Calvinists have a confidence in evangelism that others cannot. We know the Gospel is the power of God (not our presentation, or their intelligence, etc), and that some, by His grace, will respond.

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