For the past several weeks I’ve been addressing my concerns about behavioral and interpersonal interaction among Christians and the inevitable negative affects this ungracious conduct breeds.
I’ve addressed issues such as the hypocrisy of Christians (found here), caustic Calvinists (found here), and the cannibalism of “elite” Christian bloggers devouring their perceived lower class counterparts (found here).
This week I am addressing one more issue: Angry Arminians. And what better way to tackle this issue than to reprint an e-mail (verbatim and in its entirety) that I recently received in the DefCon reader mailbag?
I have read your blog for 2 years. I don’t know why. Every time I read a post, I feel physically sick. My soul weeps at how you blaspheme the nature of God. Your arrogance thinly veiled in self-righteousness. Your hate for your fellow man.
WE GET IT…God doesn’t love everyone, but he loves you. God didn’t send Jesus to die for everyone, just a select (including you). Because he chose you. Congratulations. If God is as you view him, I would rather spend eternity in hell. There is something wrong with all of you. I take the way you ruin the name of God very seriously, and so do many others. The god you purport to serve is NOTHING. you serve a tyrannical psychopathic egotistical monster of your own creation. because he isn’t real. this makes you weak and pathetic and masochistic. you are disgusting.
This is obviously not the way that most Arminians engage in a debate on the subject of God’s sovereignty; many remain gracious and kind in their debates but we must be honest, too many Arminians tend to get very hot under the collar whenever the Doctrines of Grace are proclaimed.
The vast majority of those who oppose what is commonly referred to as “Calvinism” do not disembowel their opponents with vitriolic diatribes like seen above, but many of them do get extremely angry.
The idea that God is actually sovereign over all His creation (including His human creations), and that He retains the right to wield that sovereignty over His creation as He sees fit (humans included) is oftentimes enough to send some Arminians into a rabid tizzy.
What the angry Arminian fails to comprehend, however, is that their loathsome disgust of the Doctrine’s of Grace is not actually toward those who hold to these doctrines, but instead, their disdain is ultimately with the Scriptures themselves and the God who inspired them. Arminians are simply kicking against the goads, for the Doctrines of Grace are biblical and have been taught throughout all of Scripture and church history (long before John Calvin was ever born).
There’s absolutely no need to be demeaning or to get enraged with one another when debating these issues. Neither caustic Calvinists nor Angry Arminians advance the gospel or glorify God when we’re engaged in bloody battles and vitriolic tirades with one another. We tend to show more patience with those in cults and false religions than we do with our own brethren. Absolutely no one is drawn to the gospel when they see displays like this . . .
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.