Quotes and Goats

Quotes and Goats

Matthew 25:32–33, “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”

In reply to some of the colorful responses I have received regarding my recent posts on Calvinism I would like to say a few things…

One individual said, “Pastor, I find it rather deceptive that you post an inacurrate description of what Calvinists believe, and then in the sidebar of your blog you have a Tweet where you are quoting the Calvinist Jonathan Edwards.”

First of all, I don’t believe my description of Calvinism to be “inaccurate” at all.  I am an opponent of Calvinism, so I expect those in favor of that doctrine to not agree with my take on it.

Secondly, I don’t see how quoting Jonathan Edwards on prayer is deceptive?  Just because he was a Calvinist doesn’t make his comments on prayer or many other things not thought worthy or invalid? Considering that the very premises behind their arguments are illogical, I am not very hopeful that my explanation will resonate with them either, but here goes…

There is going to come a time where God is going to separate the sheep and the goats. One application of that passage speaks to the judgment seat where God will separate the saved and the lost.  Even though there are many things to help us discern whether someone is saved, i.e. professions, desire for the things of God, fruits of the Spirit, Biblical virtues, works, etc… God really is the only one who “knows” if a person is saved or not. (By the way, many Calvinists believe that all of these things are evidences of their being part of the elect, when the Bible says they are evidences that you are a Christian…does whether someone belief in predestination or not cause them to be unsaved?)  The bottom line is, God knows and we are at best only “fruit” inspectors.  But just because someone is a Calvinist or not, whether someone is saved or not, does not take away from them every good thing.  There are good deeds, thoughts, and contributions made by many while here on this earth…sheep and goats.

So if I, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due…quote a sheep…or a goat it will be ok…really.  It would be “deceptive” to not give the source of a quote if that source is known.  As you watch my blogs, tweets, Facebook comments, etc…I will quote many different people if I feel their quotes to be helpful.  Mind you, I will not quote Calvin, MacArthur, Piper…Edwards in reference to grace or salvation, but I may in connection to other topics.  I may even quote Hitler…doesn’t make me a Nazi, I may quote President Obama or other democratic politicians…doesn’t make me a democrat (do I need to go on?) So in the spirit of some of my favorite football commentators, I have to give you a big, “Come’on Man?”  Besides…it would be like me calling you “deceptive” when you quote the Bible, all the while supporting views that are in contradiction to it?  To simplify…it is like me quoting Edwards as being the same as you quoting Jesus…you like some of the things He says…just not in agreement with everything He says.  Quoting Edwards is no more deceptive than you quoting Jesus…

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