Why not everyone should be a Calvinist

Nov 18, 2011Find joy today, Heal from the past

My husband and I banter back and forth about Calvinism and Arminianism. We’ve held our views pretty consistently over the years, though I both think we’ve softened toward the other stance. (I’ll let you decide who is who.)

I’ve seen roaring debates over the internet about the rightness of either perspective. Scripture is used and dissected to prove points. Straw men are set up to topple. Folks get angry and self righteous. Others get mean. It’s not pretty, most of it.

But you know what? I’m glad not everyone is a Calvinist. And I’m thankful for Arminians. I like Baptists too. And Foursquare folks. I glean much from Anglican thought, and marvel at the faith my Ghanaian friends have. I appreciate my Catholic brothers and sisters. Why? Because diversity is beautiful.

Imagine this earth with every tree being exactly the same. Only one type. Or one fish. Or one cat. All the same. Where would the beauty be?

Monotony is boring. And it breeds lax love.

Where is the love if everyone is the same? Jesus said, “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much” (Matthew 5:46). It’s easy to love those who are the same. Harder to love those whose views differ from your own. So diversity is actually an opportunity for love to shine, to be exercised.

I would say that we can best measure our love quotient by how we treat those whose viewpoints differ from us. If you’re Arminian, how well do you love your Calvinist brothers and sisters? If you’re a Calvinist, how much grace and kindness do you offer your Arminian friends?

Q4u: Why is it hard to love those who have different theological opinions?