Great to hear that you’ve been saved out of that hard mindset. There’s a vid on YT bearing the serious and amusing title ‘Friends don’t let friends remain Calvinist’.
When I was led to investigate Christianity, it was preachers like Paul Washer who helped set the table. Now I can’t abide that so-called reformed theology, but equally can’t deny the power of heartfelt preaching to the unsaved. It’s a testament to the power of the gospel that the spirit works first through the heart. The natural mind can’t understand spiritual things in any event, so a more ‘carnal’ gospel might be the right milk.
But what happens then? A man is saved, he experiences amazing grace, and so his awestruck mind searches for an apt expression and logic of the gospel. That’s where the wolf lies in wait, ready with the subtle and pervasive ECT/ substitutionary atonement/ sola scriptura trap:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves. (Mt 23:15)
the parable of the empty house (Mt 12:43-45).
I think we must fully face the fact that when Christianity does not make a man very much better, it makes him very much worse… Conversion may make of one who was, if no better, no worse than an animal, something like a devil. (CS Lewis)
‘Son of hell’…’‘practice lawlessness’…?
I’d go further and say Calvinists worship satan thinly disguised. Double predestination is so twisted, an abomination worthy of the description of child sacrifice to Molech in Jer 32:35 - the kind of thing that I daresay never entered God’s mind.
Yes, I run up against this all the livelong day. That would be the rattling of chains to prove freedom. But I can show these guys the scriptures in the final vision of Revelation attesting to the salvation of the nations and in return just be chided for arrogance. We live in an age where orthodoxy is heresy. God certainly has a sense of humour amongst all this.
Jesus is constantly rebuking the powers that be for this kind of thinking (they know neither scripture nor power of God), but nobody seems to be capable of self-examination. Could this be in the nature of a strong delusion? We really need to avail ourselves of all the evangelical tools in order to confront this Laodicean mindset.
Grace and peace to you.