NEW CALVINISM, SAME OLD DRIVEL: MARK DRISCOLL, MARS HILL CHURCH, SEATTLE AND OTHERS

NEW CALVINISM, SAME OLD DRIVEL: MARK DRISCOLL, MARS HILL CHURCH, SEATTLE AND OTHERS

Time Magazine:

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.)

Donate


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe


  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
    • Christian Kirkman

      I really didn't realize there were that many godly Bible-believing Calvinists out there; I've been feeling depressed. Thank you for your encouraging blog post - much appreciated.

      • Well, if you believe that following someone who was for beheading people and who damned the poor is Christlike, there's no hope for you now.

    • Christian Kirkman

      Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 are both in your Bible? Yes? If you can read those, and come away thinking the Scriptures don't teach predestination - my Q then is, what are those passages talking about?

      Calvin was a pastor in Geneva, not a magistrate. It was the magistrates who sentenced Servetus and decided the method (which by the way, was originally requested by the Catholics) - he didn't protest the sentencing (Servetus did indeed publicly break the first 3 commandments); he did protest the method to something more humane - it was (then as now) up to the magistrates whether or not to heed a particular citizen's protest, and in this case they didn't. However here is a quote I think both of us can agree with: "Let us then that have riches . . . consider that their abundance was not intended to be laid out in intemperance or excess, but in relieving the necessities of the brethren." Um, that was said by a Mr John Calvin - you know, he who preached oppression?

      • Hello Christian,

        Why are you defending, excusing, apologizing for Calvin? Why aren't you using Jesus's standard rather than lowering yourself to Calvin's level?

        As for Predestination, the issue is with its application claiming that the poor are poor because they aren't saved – that mammon is (at least in some cases) an outward manifestation of the work ethic from faith and grace and in that sense, a facilitator of capitalism versus Acts 2:44-45, etc., and the logical conclusion that is Christian communism as with the Christian Commons Project?

        Calvin was not a magistrate in the sense you have used the term, but he was the chief priest, as it were, who did not resign and did not severely rebuke the magistrates for grievously erring. Where does Jesus tell you to kill people?

        "Let us then that have riches . . . consider that their abundance was not intended to be laid out in intemperance or excess, but in relieving the necessities of the brethren." That though falls far short because in the first place, it supports the means by which some have more than others do. Was Calvin saying to all the rich to give it all, as Jesus did? Who owns the means? Calvin, by falling short in his own teaching, and Calvinists, for following that shortfall, left and still leave the door open for Marx and his violent atheists.

        Damning the poor can be too subtle to one not on the lookout for hypocrisy; otherwise, Calvin stands in stark contrast. Where did Calvin draw the line concerning excess? He didn't draw it where Jesus did.

        Raise your standard. Stop being a Calvinist. Be better than that. Wherever Calvin doesn't jibe with Jesus, reject Calvin's teachings. Are you a Christian or a Calvinist? Is ego concerning your current Calvinism going to block you?

        If Calvin was a Christian, meaning an Acts-communist, why aren't all Calvinists Acts-communist or more so holders of the very Earth in common?

        Peace

    • Christian Kirkman

      I was going to going to answer this - then I read some of your other articles.

      Christ Himself said the Scriptures (when He was speaking this was synonymous w/ OT) were about Him. Jesus is who directed the ministry of Paul. The Holy Spirit inspired Genesis through Revelation. So rather then debate issues that may be of interest to a true brother - I decided to present to you what you do need.

      1. God Made You - Gen 1,2

      2. Adam sinned, plunging all of mankind into sin - Gen 3, 1 Cor 15:22, Rom 3:23

      3. The wages of sin is death and hell Rom 6:23 (if you're interested Jesus mentions hell A LOT)

      4. We all deserve death and hell, out of love, God sent His Son to take our punishment for us - Rom. 5:8, John 3:16, 10:11-18

      5. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved - Acts 16:31 (cf. Rom 10:9,10)

      I thought I was merely teasing a brother and then getting into an interesting theolog-

      ical discussion. That's not what you need. You need the BAD news - you've sinned (we all have), and YHWH cannot allow sin in His presence. You need the GOOD news, there is a Saviour who died to take away sins - JESUS!

      I will pray for you and my fervent hope is that you will come to saving faith.

      Love you and praying for you,

      Christian

      • Oh Christian, come off it. You don't love me, not even close. You were going to answer, then....

        Weak Christian, very weak

        You need to start working at living up to your name.

        Jesus would never do what you've done here.

    • Georgiana

      Marc Driscoll is a mixed bag isn't he? I like a few of the things he says and I like how he has a heart for men...Lord knows men need help. But he is full of himself and needs to be full of Jesus. Jesus needs to be about every 3rd work that proceeds from a pastors mouth. I just feel like the church has flipped it's lid! I would say to Marc Driscoll and to all...Preach Jesus!!! Preach his finished work on the cross and quit worrying if God predestined anyone. Let God be the judge of that, right? Assume that God wants everyone to be saved (Which I think he does) and preach salvation through Jesus.

      My 2 cents...

      • The following may or may not appear to you to address your comment, Georgiana.

        There are people who will split a hair until the hair is gone. It does end up being a waste of time.

        I've been contemplating the Creation, Satan, God, procreation, faith, grace, and deeds today. I still am reconciled that deeds are required.

        It is true that a nonbeliever can do many of the deeds Jesus called upon us to do. Some deeds require faith in God and Jesus.

        I don't claim to know where each soul will end up. I don't claim to know the full mind of God. When I do know the full mind of God, I'll be 100% one with God.

        It will be God's decision. God will have let me. I can't see how that would be bad.

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. I do see where you're coming from, so to speak.