First of all, in response to the question, "Am I a Calvinist?" the answer at this point is, "I am not sure." I really don't know all there is to know about Calvinism. (Does anyone?) For the longest time I thought Calvinism meant predestination, and that was about it. I had also heard of the TULIP acronym, but it seemed to go against some things I had preached and taught in our church, so I just dismissed the whole system. After all, if it is preached and taught in the church I attend, it must be right. Right?
I recall an instance several years ago now. I was teaching Sunday School. There was a man in the class who had been attending for a while, and he brought up something about Calvinism. Everyone looked at him like he had just started speaking another language. And to us, I guess he was. He proceeded to enlighten us with the TULIP definition. More blank stares.
Now I don't consider myself a slouch when it comes to the Bible. I attended seminary for 4 years. I was in the ministry. I have read more than a couple of Christian books. But then something started to happen inside of me. At first, it was just a feeling that something was wrong. It was as if I was seeing through clouded glasses. The Christianity that I had been embracing just didn't feel right anymore. Even before reading any new books, blogs, or listening to other preachers, I had come to see the version of Christianity that I was following was "me" oriented. It was all about my comfort and my security. It was almost as if God was my servant, granting me every wish I desired.
I had reached a turning point, but I did not know where to go to find answers. When I talked to people in the church, most now looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Although, a few did smile when they said it.
To be continued...