Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is brother Jim a Calvinist? Maybe just a Bible Catholic?

It doesn't surprise me at all that some people want to label me. Labels make everything at least "seem" a little easier to understand. What I like about labels is that they often get you at least a little closer to the truth about someone. With that in mind, I've got some labels I'll readily admit to.

For instance, I'll readily admit that I'm not offended by being called a Calvinist, to a certain extent at least, because I certainly agree with the gospel that is preached by honest 5-point Calvinism.

However, you would have to call me more of a Lutheran of sorts when it comes to the Lord's Supper. You could even call me a "Eucharistic Calvinist" and I wouldn't be offended, though you might find several Calvinsts real stirred up about that.

I write this because, unlike Calvinism, I very much literally believe the promise of Christ that we recieve his very body and blood when we receive the bread and wine during the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. Not because the priest has some special charism or gift from the Holy Spirit that makes it possible for him to "confect" the body and blood of Christ, as taught by the Roman Church. No. I believe that I receive the body and blood of Jesus because Jesus himself promises it to all who believe in him.

Jesus plainly promises us that we receive his body and blood when we receive the bread and wine during Holy Communion (Matthew 26:-28). Though you may think that's the Roman Catholic teaching, it is not. The Romans teach that the bread and the wine become the body, blood as well as soul and divinity of Jesus Christ--the whole Christ (transubstantiation). This makes it possible to bow down to the bread.

They say the bread and wine are totally destroyed during the priest's prayer and become his body, blood, soul and divinity--which was added by popes who believed the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. While they get an "A" for being imaginative, they get an "F" for making this a belief that is required for salvation. They get an F minus for urging people to kneel and pray to the bread from Holy Communion as they would pray to Jesus (known as Eucharistic adoration). Even the Orthodox Church rejects this teaching.

Again, we very much disagree with Roman Catholics when it comes to the teaching of transubstantiation. We say that Aquinas and the church borrowed way too much from the pagan philosopher Aristotle to come up with an explanation that suddenly became the "word of God" (according to the pope) for Roman Catholics. Because they made this explanation a belief required for salvation for all, they messed up big time. It became part of their whole false gospel.

Roman Catholics and Protestants should listen all the more to Paul who clearly tells us that "whosever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11: 27)

How can we be "guilty of sinning agianst the body and blood of the Lord, if what we eat and drink is not the body and blood of the Lord? For more specifics, go to http://www.biblecatholics.com/holy_communion.htm.

In addtion, I very much oppose those so-called Calvinists who favor "Common Grace" and I am very much with the Protestant Reformed Church when it comes to the total rejection of Common Grace. To read the specifics, go to http://www.biblecatholics.com/grace_uncommon.htm.

In other words, I don't believe "common gracers" are true Calvnists. Sadly, this is another reason (in addition to Holy Communion) that I am essentially at odds with most Calvinists, even though we certainly agree on the gospel. Amazing isn't it? We agree on the gospel, the message about and from Christ, but disagree on the gospel of Christ through the sacrament of Holy Communion. They believe that we spiritually receive Christ's body and blood. I believe that too, but I also believe that we receive him physically through the bread and wine. My excuse? I've just got to go where the word of God leads me.

By the way, The basic reason I reject the idea of common grace is that I don't believe God even "passively" blesses those who don't believe in him. Yeah, unbelievers may be alot richer than me in dollars and cents but that money just ensures that they don't much care about God and what he can do for them. What good is their money if they're headed for hell? In this case, their money makes life a lot more comfortable, but what is that compared to an eternity in hell? My hope for them is that God with have mercy via annihilation.

The concept of Common Grace is also an essential denial of predestination. While people get all hot and bothered about that word, as I have written before, it is essentially no more than our humble admission that God is in total control of everything. If he wasn’t in total control, he would not be an almighty God. All who worship a God who is not in total control, worship an idol of their own making.

Because we worship a God who is in total control, we know he can keep all of his promises. He has proven that many, many times already by showing us that his Old Testament phophecies have indeed come to pass in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

 --brother Jim