I am what many would call a Calvinist: a five point Calvinist to be more precise. I did not set out be this way. I once was what many would call (including myself now) an Armenian. Over the course of the several years and much study my doctrine began to change until one day I realized quite suddenly (much to my own surprise) that I was indeed a Calvinist. My only hesitation about using the title is not my fear of labels (though labeling seems to be one of the seven deadly postmodern sins). Rather it is because John Calvin himself would have reacted quite violently if he knew people were calling themselves such.
Despite my being a Calvinist, I do not feel it is necessary to discuss (or even think about) TULIP every waking moment of my life. To be frank, it is usually brought up by others (non-Calvinists for the most part) rather than myself (which incidentally is how the whole TULIP thing got started, but that’s something for another time perhaps).
As a Calvinist I sometimes find Calvinists difficult to deal with. I don’t mean your average adherent to the Doctrines of Grace. No, I’m talking about the frothing at the mouth, rabid, put them down before they bite someone, hyper-Calvinists. To them, “five pointers” like myself are milquetoast. No TULIP for these people. The CHRYSANTHEMUM would be a better flower for some of these folks, so many minor points of doctrine do they emphasize.
No, I’m not going to mention any of these folk specifically or by name. That would be rude. Some who have affected me most I’ve never even met. I’m just sick of having to come after them and clean up the damage their mouth has caused. I get annoyed when someone gets on my case about something I don’t even believe because some hyper-Calvinist burned them on it in the past. That really sucks rotten eggs.
C Michael Patton has a post on his Parchment & Pen blog titled, “Calvinists Often Make the Worst Calvinists.” It addresses some of the misconceptions people have about Calvinists because of bad Calvinists. It’s an interesting read and I recommend perusing the article.