In my previous post I gave my answer as to why people are so offended by Calvinism. There is more to be said on the subject however.
This post is a little harder to write, because this post is more about the Calvinist than about the Doctrines of Grace that the Calvinist believes.
In the previous post I posted a quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, he said that when people are saved they have no idea that it was the Lord who was saving them. Rather, it seems like we suddenly have a change of heart upon hearing the Gospel, repent, and trust in Christ. It is only by study of the Bible, or when we are taught, that we come to understand that it was God seeking us, not us finding God.
Cage Stage Calvinists
Unfortunately, many churches today teach that man does have some say, or some free will, in his salvation.
When a man, or woman, comes to the understanding that they had no part in their salvation, but that it was fully by God’s grace, and then realizes that what their church has been teaching them is incorrect, they sometimes get a little argumentative. Or, when the new Calvinist sees others stealing God’s glory by claiming some of the work for themselves, it starts to bother them. Or, sometimes just because the young Calvinist is so excited to share their new, and deeper, understanding of the Gospel, they get a little over boastful.
It may be a combination of these things, but many new Calvinists enter into what is lovingly called the “cage stage.” That is the stage where it would be better for the world, for their church, and for the cause of the Gospel, if we were to lock them in a cage until they simmer down just a bit.
The cage stage Calvinist is known for their arguing, sometimes going about it harshly, and occasionally having a little bit of pride associated with their new theological understanding. For some reason coming to a deeper understanding of just how sinful they are, and to what level God went to in order to save them, doesn’t immediately eliminate all pride, though it really should. If only sanctification were instant! (There is a great, and short, book on this that I hope all Calvinists, especially the young ones, will read. – Killing Calvinism. Also, to the young Calvinists, please please get under the authority of a solid church with a mature pastor and elders who will disciple you, and steer clear of most of the YRR movement.)
Passion for Truth
The other thing that makes Calvinists so offensive is their passion for solid doctrine and willingness to argue against the doctrines of devils that have invaded the Church.
This is different from the above, as the slightly more mature Calvinist knows when to argue, what is worth arguing over, and hopefully does so a bit more lovingly. The seeker driven movement and their semi-Pelagian false Gospel must be opposed. The leaders, who now tend to prefer not to be called pastors or shepherds, of these churches try to immunize their followers against us, and the Gospel, to maintain their control over their.
As Calvinists are usually cessationist (believing the sign-gifts have ceased) the charismatics who try to manipulate emotions and manufacture false miracles tend to not like our opposition to them. (I won’t touch on the Neo-Calvinist seeker driven charismatics, as that would be a series on its own, just suffice it to say there are many differences between them and us.)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!
The other thing that makes Calvinists offensive to many, or at least scares some pastors (especially the seeker driven types) about us, is that sheep leave their churches to come to ours where they will hear Christ preached every week with a right understanding of the Law and the Gospel, and we won’t bury the believer in works that he can’t accomplish and a law he can’t keep. We have freedom in Christ, and when others are burdened from the law being misused, or in some cases added on to, they hear of that freedom and run into our fold.