Why I'm Reformed

There are a lot of misconceptions about Reformed thinking (or dare I say, "Calvinism"). Phrases like "once saved, always saved" get thrown around or comments about how if salvation isn't up to us, why evangelize?

I'm really not going to go into that. If you spend any time at all looking into reformers, past and present (Luther, Calvin, Augustine, Piper, Driscoll, Moore (Yes, as in Beth Moore), Sproul) no true teacher of the word and theology would say anything about how you're saved and then can do whatever you want. I would argue that reformed teachers speak more to missions, evangelizing, and living Godly lives than any Bible teacher out there.

But like I said, I'm not going to go into that because it's been done far better than I could ever do. (Check out the series "An Overview of Systematic Theology" by RC Sproul.)

So back to the point of the post: why I'm reformed.

Other than the obvious answer of "I believe it's the correct interpretation of the Bible", the main reason is summed up perfectly in this quote:

"If we deny the teaching of divine election, we must, partly at least, glory in ourselves."
- George Whitefield

The reason I began to align with the reformed way of thinking is totally due to my conversion experience. I knew there was something strange, even supernatural about it. I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to serve Christ.

About 6 months before I was saved, I professed that I "wanted to be a Christian". I remember even using the phrase "I'm trying to be a Christian". Thankfully now I can (kind of) smile at my ignorance. I'll save you the long story and just say that "trying to be a Christian" ended up being the worst months of my life that were plagued with sinning and guilt and there was no grace or experiencing the Holy Spirit.

Then, on the morning of June 30, 2007, I sat down defeated in my parent's room and in a wave of what can only be described as the holy spirit entering my soul; I was saved. Even now, I'm perplexed by the experience. I knew it was different this time. I knew there was no turning back. And despite living a very less-than-perfect life since, the grace of God and his holy spirit that entered my life that morning has been continually present.

I'm reformed because I don't ever want to be accused of trying to take any of God's glory. I'm a sinful being, incapable of good apart from God, so why would I think I would be good enough to decide on my own to follow Jesus? If I say God is sovereign in ALL things, wouldn't that include my salvation?

I'm so thankful that through my conversion God showed me that he ordained my salvation, that he would give me the grace to persevere, and that he would finish that good work he started.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. - Philippians 1:6

8 comments:

Sarah said...

Such a great post. I love how you explained it. It's sad that this issue is so misunderstood in so many ways. I'd love more posts on this subject!

leah said...

very well written dear friend, i was wondering if this post would ever surface, glad it did! :) love you!

L, Ann and boys said...

very well written :) Luke calls me a "Calvinist" when I get fired up about something I've read/experienced or interpret scripture with my hands waving... but I dislike labels myself and usually roll my eyes at him. ;) ;) If he groups me with something he already has preconceived notions/opinions about...I don't think we'll be able to have a meaningful conversation that goes anywhere and I'm afraid that's what happens to those types of conversations a lot of times. Sad. We all have so much to learn.
On a positive note, Luke and I have had some good conversations about it. :)

Christen Leigh said...

Great post and thoughts! :) appreciate this!

Betsy said...

I very much remember that June date and how different it was from before. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the sons and daughters of God!

Sara Huber said...

Good stuff, Em. Love remembering God's saving call on your life and mine!

Molly said...

Well-written and clearly well-thought. Good to read!

smw said...

always good an interesting to read about people's experiences and perspectives. enjoyed hearing yours. :)