Dan’s Online Diary 

# 5.8.03 by Dan
[Arminianism, Predestination, Penticostalism and Feminism]
Many o' you jokers 'ave 'ad the righ' pleasure of meetin' th' Muff, innit.

So we was walkin' up Queen's street 'bout lunchtime, see, and we has a bit of a banter 'bout ol' predestination, righ'...
Anyways, th' Muff was had a bit of a natter wit' 'is mum, see? an' I done had a wee chat wit' one o' th' girls from work, like. And we both bin talkin' 'bout predestination, so's I thort it be best if i done chalked up a bit o' stuff righ' 'ere on this blog, like. See?

Anyway, after a bit of discussion - it really struck me how the Arminian (or more correctly, Semi-Pelagian) views shared by most Penticostal churches are really really dangerous. So much so that I found it hard to see that we (as Calvinists, or Augustinianists) actually worship the same God as them. After all, their God is clearly not Sovereign in the area of salvation - "...[semi-pelegianism] contends that man cannot be saved apart from God's grace; however, fallen man must cooperate and assent to God's grace before he will be saved. Inherent in this view is the belief that man, prior to any work of regeneration in the soul by God, has the power to accept and embrace God's grace." - from Table Talk - Ligonier Ministries, via 'Arminianism/Pelagianism Refuted'.

Should we, therefore, as I have done in the past, simply agree to disagree, and each go our merry ways? Or should we "...snatch others from the fire and save them" - Jude 1:23a?
I would normally use the rule - "if it is not an issue of salvation, then we can agree to disagree". But is this idea, that man must contribute of himself in order to receive the gift of salvation as offered to all men, not the product of a thoroughly distorted doctrinal base? It denys the Sovereignty of God. It makes man out to have some essence of inherant goodness in himself, and therefore lessens the work of Christ on the cross.
People, this is not a trivial matter by any stretch of the imagination.

But how can we confront it? Discussion proves futile, and in most cases, simply causes each party to become more deeply entrenched in their own understanding (or misunderstanding, as the case may be).
Someone who has grown up with an Arminianist worldview, and who is confronted with a rational, reasoned approach to Calvinism may still defy the logic the have before them and cling unswervingingly to their Arminianism.
Its tricky - it means going against what your church teaches - what your spouse believes - what you've always known. I'm not sure how to confront this, simply because this person is already a Christian, so they know the gospel(at least from an Arminianist postion),and are trusting in Christ for their salvation (as well as their own ability to hold onto the gift). Any ideas?

Also, through our lunchtime discussion, we formulated a possible reasoning as to why penticostal(and usually arminianist) churches tend to accept women to positions of authority more readily than churches of a calvanistic persuasion. Calvinism can be reasoned 'from the ground up' - it is generally logical, rational and makes common sense. Arminianists, on the other hand, hold to a concept of salvation, under which most other sound doctine is absent, and at best, crumbly. Arminianism is a nice idea, and can be readily accepted by women, who desire to contribute, as their creator has intended them to be helpers.
But men, who are rational thinkers, may find that if they delve too deeply into doctrine, see the crumbling foundations, and go back up stairs, to continue on with everyone else, but without the solid assurance that they are supported by unshakable truth. Hence the women, who, by nature are stronger emotionally, and less rational, take the lead.

Muffy even suggested the usefulness of writing a book, even if for his own clarification and deepened understanding. Tells us your thoughts. I'd like to write more.

[Also from today's discussion...]
Feminisim doesn't make sense. Think of a feminist - another gross generalisation(for which I am now becoming world-famous, and for which I make no apology) - and you see a woman with short hair, pants(jeans), boots, and the proverbial flannel shirt.
But hang on a minute... I thought feminism was "belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes". But rather than be equal with men, they seem to want to become men? How does dressing like a man in any way portray a desire for equality? Rather, it degrades women. For if a feminist is so anti-man, why on earth would she stoop to dressing like one?
Enlighten me.