NEW CALVINISM, SAME OLD DRIVEL: MARK DRISCOLL, MARS HILL CHURCH, SEATTLE AND OTHERS
predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.
(See: "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now, What's Next 2009, 3 of 10, 3. 'The New Calvinism,'" by David van Biema. Time.)
"...unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision." Okay, so Calvinists call themselves Christians, which by definition means followers of Jesus Christ. So, what did Jesus say?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:21-23 KJVR)
According to Calvinism, Jesus was wasting his breath there. Not only was Jesus wasting his breath there, he was wasting his breath all the time. Absolutely nothing he ever told anyone that he or she ought to do ever amounted to anything or ever will because whether anyone did or does what Jesus said, that one is going to Heaven or Hell as preordained by God. Jesus's message to change is wrong according to Calvin.
Now, if you can't see that Calvin was a buffoon, what can anyone do for you?
I read all this stuff online about Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church in Seattle teaching Calvinism. I read that the Baptist seminaries are loading up with young people looking to Calvinism.
Calvin was a dictator. He had a theological rival burned at the stake. Well, the Calvinists say Calvin asked for him to be beheaded rather than burned. They burned him anyway — so much for being their spiritual leader.
What else? The poor are lazy and deserve it. Wealth is a sign of predestined salvation. It's called the Protestant Work Ethic and encouraged capitalism. What did Jesus say above? A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
How can people be so stupid as to be New or old Calvinists? How can Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church in Seattle have some 7,000 members while the Christian Commons Project has one? Is it because Mark Driscoll knows better the message of Christ? Hardly.
No, what's going on is avoidance and twisting. The Calvinist Puritans fought the English Civil War against the religious and state hierarchy (bishops and king). The Levelers among the Calvinist army wanted greater fairness in society. Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan's military and political leader, said no. The Diggers wanted something very close to the Christian Commons only the Christian Commons won't just plop down on the land, even though it truly does belong to the Church as the rightful inheritance of all as our shared gift. The Diggers were driven from the land. The Puritans ended up sailing to America to escape persecution but couldn't make communism work. They weren't willing to work as hard for each other as they were for themselves. Now that says it all.
Look at the Radical Reformationists though. Many of the Anabaptists were pacifists and nonresistant, just as was Jesus. The Anabaptist Hutterites, unlike the Puritans, were very able to live the Acts-communist life. That says it all too.
Why are there so many Baptists (often of the Reformed/Calvinist theological persuasion) in the U.S.? They had a lot of children. Why aren't there more Hutterites? They were nearly persecuted into extinction — down to about 1,000 from tens of thousands. They were orderd exterminated. Now they are back up to some 50,000.
(See: "Hutterites: An Historical Overview," by Tamara Berger-Prößdorf. Foreign Languages and Literature. Eastern Montana College. 1993.)