I had a rather unsettling experience last week. I’d signed up to help out a church by being a counselor for their boys at children’s camp. I hadn’t thought anything of it when I donned my “You don’t scare me, I’m a Calvinist” shirt that morning. I wasn’t at camp five minutes when the camp pastor explained to me this particular group of Baptist churches didn’t subscribe to Calvinist teaching and that my Calvinist doctrine wasn’t welcome.
Two thoughts occurred to me:
- Does this man know what Calvinist (or more properly reformed) doctrine is?
- How far has the SBC fallen that we are ignorant of and opposed to the doctrines upon which we were founded?
He spent several minutes repeatedly stating, “You haven’t done anything wrong,” yet continued to chastise me as if I had. Arguing with him, or even attempting a discussion at that time I knew would be futile. I simply said, “Not a problem” and submitted to his authority at that camp.
It was obvious that he’d had a very unpleasant experience with some person (or persons) claiming to follow Calvinist doctrine. I’d hoped to find opportunity to sit down with him that week to work things out and come to an understanding of how he’d come to the place he was at doctrinally. It didn’t happen. What I find humorous about the experience is that throughout the week I kept hearing snippets of reformed theology from some of the other teachers and counselors.
I’m thinking that while there may be an opposition to the label of “Calvinism” they are not as opposed to the doctrines of grace as some of them may think.