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The following e-mails are responding to the e-mail exchange Pentecostal Calvinist? The e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
I would like to get in contact via e-mail with Ken. Please feel free to forward my e-mail address to him so that he may contact me if he wishes to do so.
As I have shared with you before (long time ago - I'll be surprised if you remember - I found your site doing a search on "Reepicheep"), I used to be involved in the Pentecostal Church of God, very similar to the AG [Assemblies of God]. The same teaching materials are shared.
When I first began to accept the doctrines of grace, I felt very isolated and alone in my former church. I really struggled with the questions of if and when I should leave that church. One of the hardest things was that I didn't have anyone who had been through the same process to talk to. Like Ken, I really felt like an anomaly. Even harder was when I began trying to untangle my whole terrible mix of perceiving God based on emotionalism and a misunderstanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for your wonderful site. My appreciation for your ministry grows every time I visit it.
I believe I remember you from your mentioning about finding my site via my Internet "handle" [see Reepicheep]. In any case, I will forward your e-mail to Ken. It will be up to him to respond if he wishes.
I also am an AG minister who has struggled with the Arminian point of view. I have a serious and long lasting discomfort with the Decision Based Theology that is being promoted from many of our churches. I along with Ken have spent many hours wondering if we were abnormal or in my case struggling to find the truth--asking myself if this teaching was correct. Yet, as I studied I had to conclude that salvation was not what I had done, but rather was because of the irresitible grace of God's call to me a sinner.
Anyway, as I read your discourse with Ken, I did go and check again the AG confession, and the "official" stance does not conflict with Calvinism. Although the "practice" of our "official" stance does conflict. I do have an inward struggle. Yet, I wonder if we are brought to the kingdom for such a time as this? God knows. Yet, for information purposes only let me share what our official stance is taken from our Constitution and By-Laws as written in 1998-1999. (Let me say that this position has not changed since its inception in 1914.)
The Fall of Man: Man was created good and upright: for God said, "Let us make man iour image, after our likeness" However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:6; Rom 5:12-19)
The Salvation of Man
Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
(a) Conditions of salvation salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith
toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of hte Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, Jn 3:3, Romans 10:13-15, Eph. 2:8' Totis 2:11; 3:5-7)
(b) The Evidences of Salvation
The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. (Eph. 4:24; Titus 2:12).
It is my experience that this is not contradictory because of a presumpition on the definition of the words. I understand that regeneration precedes faith and is completely monogistic, but after regeneration, the walking in the grace of God is synergistic.
Anyway, this was to just give a little information for those who might have questions on what is believed.
Thank you for the info. I will post your comments as a follow-up to the "Pentecostal Calvinist?" exchange.
I would like to be in contact with the other A/G ministers who have become Calvinists (Ken, Mike, Charles). I myself have traveled in Reformed and Pentecostal Circles for 12 years now. This awkward tension (call me a three dollar bill) has led up to my sad resignation of my A/G pastorate, and my credentials are in jeopardy as well. This is despite that fact that I never made an issue of my Calvinistic theology. I continue to maintain that Biblical Calvinism and Biblical Pentecostalism are both the work of the Spirit via Jesus and his apostles.
However, the baggage attatched to contemporary Pentecostalism is the source of the awkwardness. I am now a casualty. I look forward to fellowshipping with Reformed Christians now, though I fear they may find me strange because of their own particular "baggage."
I would enjoy the opportunity to exchange e-mails with the other A/G ministers.
Lon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: A reader referred me to a denomination that believes in the doctrines of grace and that the "gifts" are for today. It is the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Anyone interested in such a church can find out more about it by following the link to their Web site.
Another resource for
Pentecostal-Calvinists is The
Here is another group who are essentially reformed yet have charismatic understanding of the Holy Spirit. I think those who have written you about the Pentecostal-Charismatic issue would be greatly blessed by this organization. If you would like to post the link it is http://www.pdinet.org
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