Labels are a postmodern taboo. This is understandable. Once you are labeled something, you live under the presumptions of the system that has been typified by others. This representation may or may not be accurate. Unfortunately, the inaccuracies inevitably rule the label.

Republican: War lover. Does not care about the environment. Apathetic to social issues.

Democrat: Liberal. Godless. Weak. Immoral.

Roman Catholic: Worships Mary. Ignorant.

Evangelical: Fundamentalist. Gay hater. Supports the killing of abortion doctors. Republican (see above).

Baptist: Can’t drink, dance, or smoke. Prideful.

Dispensationalist: Believes in two ways of salvation, one for the Old Testament and one for the new. Cares only about eschatology.

DTS Grads: Dispensationalist (see above). 🙂

OU Sooners: The best ever. Supernatural. Incredible. (Oh, wait . . . this is all true)

Emerging church: Cursing. Compromise doctrine. Nose rings. Disrespectful. 

Arminian: Humanistic. Denies God’s sovereignty. Pelagian.

Calvinist: Follower of a man. Believes God hates the non-elect. Denies free will. Denies responsibility. Believes God created evil.

Unfortunately, there are reasons why people have these stereotypical assumptions about systems, and these reasons are often valid. Not because the system itself demands it (although this is sometimes the case), but because of two things: 1) There will always be those radical outspoken representatives who live for the spotlight and focus upon non-essentials within the system, thereby giving outsiders a skewed perspective of what they system is all about. 2) There are those outside the system who seek to distort the “opponent” by creating straw-men arguments.

It is this first about which I would like to speak. Specifically, I would like to speak on it with regards to Calvinism. There are many out there who call themselves Calvinists who make very bad Calvinists. In other words, the way they portray their own system lacks understanding and perspective concerning the system.

When I am around some Calvinists, I want to become an Arminian! There are many reasons I say this, but first and foremost is that many Calvinists lack balance. They act as if the doctrines of grace are the only issues in theology. It does not matter what you are talking about, with these people it somehow always turns into a discussion about the importance of Calvinism. Further, they will strongly demean any who disagrees with Calvinism to the point where they deny them the grace that is so irresistible in their own system. In other words, there are many Calvinists who act like Calvinism is the central core of the Gospel. With this attitude of smugness and disrespect, who would want to be a Calvinist?

I will be the first to admit that there are many who are not Calvinists who love the Lord more, are smarter, and who live the Christian life better than myself (none of which is a great feat 🙂 ). Who can deny the scholarship of the likes of Roger Olson, Paul Copan, J.P. Moreland, Gregory Boyd, I. Howard Marshall, and Scott McKnight? I can personally attest to the Christian character of Paul and J.P. They demand respect even if we disagree.

Unfortunately, in some Calvinists’ zeal to proclaim the sovereignty of God, they present a very unbalanced portrayal of Calvinism. They often fail to give proper credence to the love of God and the responsibility of man. Now, to be fair, I don’t know of many respected Calvinist scholars who do so, but I have found this tendency continually among the laity and lay teachers. Progressing mightily in the triumph of the glory of God, they often make God so sovereign that He must, by virtue of their definition of sovereignty, be the author of sin. Now, I do recognize that Zwingli and Beza, who are part of magisterial Calvinism, did go this direction, but this certainly not a necessary belief of Calvinists. In fact, some Calvinists, such as myself, would say that making God responsible for sin is such a way does not dignify His sovereignty, but, frankly, boarders on blasphemy.

Further, there are many Calvinists of the “hyper” version who will deny the title Calvinism to any who don’t believe as they do on the non-essential elements of Calvinism. These non-essential elements of Calvinism include double predestination (retrobutionism), an affirmation of meticulous sovereignty, the absolute and unqualified denial of man’s free will and responsibility, a belief that God hates the non-elect, a demand to see the atonement as limited in the way that they believe it to be limited, and a firm adherence to supralapsarianism. Their circle becomes so thin that it is no wonder that pride abounds. They become the elect within the elect!

I remember a Calvinist who owned a local bookstore where I used to study. Every time I entered the door, he would start arguing. His primary argument was that I was not really a Calvinist because I believed that God, in spite of His unconditional election, still loved the non-elect. This was the discussion every time. I came to the point where I thought that he was not going to welcome me in the doors any longer because I did not agree that God hated the non-elect. The last words I remember saying to him were “What does God want us to do with our enemies?” He said, “Love them.” I said, “Do you think God would expect us to do something that He Himself cannot do?” He did not respond.

I am a Calvinist. I am a five point Calvinist. I don’t mind being labeled as such. But sadly, I have to greatly qualify what I mean by this so that people don’t label me according to the massive misrepresentation of Calvinism by some Calvinists.

Even Phil Johnson, a fellow Calvinist recognizes the danger of misrepresentation when he writes:

“History teaches us that hyper-Calvinism is as much a threat to true Calvinism as Arminianism is. Virtually every revival of true Calvinism since the Puritan era has been hijacked, crippled, or ultimately killed by hyper-Calvinist influences.” ( – a very good read)

In short, it is sad to say, but I would rather go to a party with a humble Arminian than some passionate Calvinists. Calvinists often make the worse Calvinists.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    33 replies to "Calvinists often make the worst Calvinists"

    • Vance

      To give you fair due, I would fully admit that too many of the Arminian persuasion are also the worst exemplars of its true doctrines.

      I think I could sum up the damage by saying the most in the Arminian camp have never even heard the word. Seriously. A poll of all of the pentecostal churches around the nation (here in the US) would result in a very low percentage who even know what the issues are, although they would readily confirm that they deny unconditional election and “Eternal Security”.

      I think that those outside the Reformed tradition are rightly chided for too often being theologically shallow and shamefully ignorant. Or, should I say that those who are ignorant in that way tend to be Arminian (since there are MANY hugely intelligent Arminians as well, including the original man himself).

      And, I can say with some honesty that most of what is wrong in the evangelical movement has arisen within the fundamentalist pentecostal camp, which tends toward Arminianism.

      Having said all of that, I still fall into that camp in a general way, meaning that I would not qualify at all as a Calvinist or a Lutheran. But while I hold this view generally, I refuse to be dogmatic about it, since it is not a matter to be dogmatic about, as I explain in the other thread.

    • Dan Wallace

      Michael, it’s good to hear your perspective on things. But since you’re a recalcitrant five-point Calvinist, there’s no hope for you. You’re gonna fry! But as your last act as head of RMM, you could go out in a blaze of glory. We could have a barbecue and roast marshmallows. And maybe there would be a whole new crop of donors who could bring the ministry to new heights, built, as it were, on your ashes. So sorry, old friend. I always thought you were a Christian, too!

    • Lisa R

      Michael, how boring would life be without extremists and misrepresenters. If anything their example should cause some self-reflection and our need to ask the Erkel question, “did I do that’? And repent, if need be.

      Let brotherly love continue!

    • Joanie D

      Michael, you encapsulated very well the way people “in general” categorize other people. And Dan, you are so funny! Barbecue indeed. 🙂

      Michael has often said that it is important for Christians to know what they believe and why they believe and I agree. Yet, as I read more and more here about all the theological terminology, I can understand folks saying, “I just want to love God and people.” There are so many issues that can serve to divide Christians rather than bring them together, aren’t there. Also, I have noticed that there are many more men than women who post here. Any thoughts on why that is? (That is likely a topic for another post though.)

      I have at least figured out that I am more Arminian than Calvinist, but I don’t think I am totally Arminian either. Personally, I don’t think Jesus is going to “worry” about which I am, so I am not going to worry about it either. And Michael, if Copeland, Moreland and McKnight are non-Calvinists, you are doing well to stick to your Calvinist belief system! It’s great of you to always point out the “other side” when you discuss these issues.

      Joanie D.

    • Sean

      Excellent post. Would that we all would examine ourselves and occasionally try to understand how others perceive us.

      There are obnoxious people in every tradition, sadly.

      Following on what Vance mentioned (but in charity glossing over something else): I think your “worst Calvinists” generally know their theology. Our “worst Arminians” do not.

      Sola gratia

      Sean (who is also quite capable of being obnoxious)

    • Vance

      Sean, I should mention I am from the pentecostal fundamentalist movement in background and still attend such a church. What I see as the worst in this movement is the megachurch, name-it-and-claim-it, televangelist, feel-good branch of evangelicalism which, for whatever reason, tend to be mostly Arminian (in the sense that they are not Calvinist).

    • Sean


      No offense. For technical reasons I’m a pedant about this one: pentecostalism is not a part of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is a very specific movement. The term unfortunately has gotten stretched in far too many directions in our time. My personal crusade to reverse that trend is probably futile, but I try anyway.

      Classical pentecostal thought has a lot of good stuff in it and is basically a continuation of the 19th century holiness movement. Both are Arminian to the core.

      TV charismaticism (?) is almost an entirely differently animal. It has virtually no links to any historic Christian tradition, and its weirder doctrines are actually imported (after a few intermediaries) from Christian Science. IMO, at least once you’re in the door of salvation, it veers off into genuine Pelagianism. It, too, should not be conflated with classical pentecostalism, though it is swallowing it up in the public eye to a great extent, which is unfortunate.

    • Lisa R

      Hey Joanie,

      Regarding your comment on more men than women, that thought has come across my mind a couple of times as well. I think its because men tend to be logical and will respond accordingly, which is a quality I admire greatly by the way. Our post-host is a man and a logical thinker (although I’m sure some would disagree), ergo most posters are men.

      Although, I can’t quite keep up with the scholarship of some of my brothers here (not yet anyway), I love the way they think!

    • Justin Thomas

      Great article. We tend to argue theological concepts so much that we forget to apply it in practice.

      Go Sooners! (They are pretty good this year)

    • Vance

      Ah, yes, Sean, I would agree with that entirely. I was going on more generic uses of the term, since more people would call themselves pentecostal than those arising out of its historic roots. While I do have a few issues with the *emphasis* of classic pentecostalism, I agree entirely with your assessment. I grew up a pastor’s kid in an Assembly of God church, and I have various cousins and family still in the A/G ministry, and I still attend an A/G church, where I teach Sunday School.

    • Nick N.

      I’d just like to point out that if one is not a Calvinist that doesn’t by default make them an Arminian. I would imagine that most people have not ever met a true Classical Arminian. Because of this I don’t think it really fair to judge those non-Calvinists as bad representatives of Arminianism when in reality they don’t represent it at all.

      But following Michael’s comments in the other threads, he made many statement concerning the various types of Calvinism (a few of which don’t really appear Calvinistic at all) — I’m wondering if it’s really the case that Calvinism gets misrepresented as much as people would like to believe when there are all these different flavors out there to choose from. I can just see some of those Calvinists whom Michael believes to be misrepresenting Calvinism qualifying their Calvinism so that they are not labeled according to Michael’s brand.

      When it’s all said and done I can honestly say that I love all of my Calvinist brethren no matter how misguided I feel their soteriology is and if I were forced into Calvinism then I’d certainly choose 😉 Michael’s brand which seems to acknowledge an all loving Creator.


    • Lisa R


      I agree that it is more the derivates of classic pentacostalism that have produced the worst theologians. Until 1 ½ ago, my Christian life has been spent in pentacostal based, non-denominational churches ranging from a very solid Church of God foundation to the whacked out variations (word of faith, 3rd wave, latter rain). And while folks of the latter group would tend to not only know what the aforementioned labels are, they would not classify themselves and actually debunking labels as divisive and unloving. The problem is in practice a lack of biblical understanding about what the labels are about in the first place. I also think this is the fault of the mega-church atmosphere that mass-produces ignorance at an alarming rate.

    • Vance

      Lisa, that is exactly right. It is a television version of Christianity, even when live on stage, mass-produced, consumer-oriented, sound-bite and emotion-driven. Experience is king.

      Being immersed in the pentecostal tradition, I see the modern movement as a progression that began as a reaction to scholarly liberalism. While the “Fundamentals” were very reasoned and scholarly in their own right (as a side-note people forget that the first versions of the Fundamentals contained statements supporting evolution in a cautious way, which I find so ironic), it was perceived and taken up as anti-scholar, since scholarship at the time was equated with liberalism. Theology soon became focused so MUCH on the basics of the faith, that it soon became a “lowest common denominator” approach, based on what even the least-read man in the pews could grasp and comprehend without digging and thinking.

      And what can ALL Christians share in common? Well, EXPERIENCE, of course. The great leveler of the faith, since we can ALL feel and experience, but can not all think at the same level of sophistication. So, I think that the charismatic movement cooped the pentecostal and fundamental goodness and ran away with it. It became focused on a bare-bones, over-simplified theology and, more importantly, the experiences of the faith.

      I think this cutting of the anchor of scholarship and deeper theology left everything out there to drift around and, as will necessarily happen, you end up with Walmart Christianity. Ooooh, shiny!

    • Lisa R

      And don’t forget bright and smiley….sigh!

    • Vance

      Ah, that should be “co-opted” the pentecostal movement, not “cooped” it!

      And, Lisa, that happy smiley face could be the logo for many churches! Is it not ironic, though, that many of the charismatic churches (self-proclaimed Pentecostal ones), also have a strong “fire and brimstone” angle to them? I think it all derives out of the same simplistic and emotional approach.

      Again, I am speaking from WITHIN that tradition as we speak. And, my father, now retired from the ministry agrees entirely, and looks back with some regret on the direction things went (and took him along as well). Luckily, my current pastor does fairly well at promoting study, at least.

    • Sean

      Hey, isn’t this thread supposed to be about how bad Calvinists are? Let’s get back on message, people. 😉

    • JohnT3

      There are some really close friends of mine who are Covenant Theologists and I use to enjoy calling myself a “4 and 1/2 point Calvinist” or my other favorite was “Convenant Dispensationalist”.

      The 4 and1/2 point Calvinist however was because they could never quite satisfy me with the explanations of the 5 points of Calvinism. Which was my fault as much as it was theirs because when I would reach these impasses in the past I would go and read what the author had to say on the subject.

      I have an electronic copy of the Calvin’s Institutes and after reading what he had to say and then finding out that there is no chapter entitled “5 Points” or “TULIP” (not knocking the terms don’t misunderdstand) it surprized me that they were not quite inline with what Calvin had to say on the subject(s).

      Which I gues shouldn’t really surprize me because even within Dispensational camps people would rather read Schofield or Ryre and not William Kelly or J.N. Darby. If I may also for the record state that of all the dispensationlists I have known or read not one of them believed in two ways of salvation.

      So you can call me a Covenant Dispensational More Than 5 Point Calvanist!

    • C Michael Patton

      Great posts guys.

      Dan, you know we have talked about this before. It really depends which day it is and how you want to force the issue of unlimited atonement. At least I don’t redefine the word “world” every chance I get 🙂 .

      Joanie, I agree. There is always the temptation to jump theological ship, but don’t let that temptation overcome you.

      Remember, God said, “Let him who boasts boast in this: that he understands and knows me.” Jer. 9:24

      Understanding God is important, even if it does cause us to pull out our hair. That is how you know that bald people understand and know the Lord 😉

    • Lisa R

      You know, Vance, as someone who has come out of those circles and can attest to the mentality, I think it really comes down to us vs. God. In other words, a system of Christianity that suits us and caters to what we want out of it. I know that some would reject that, but in practice, rejecting serious theological study does just that.

      Back to that balance that you are always driving, and rightly so, I think we have to keep the labels and the experience in perspective. After all, we want to hear “Well done thou good and faithful servant”. But I don’t believe it will be

      “well done thou good and faithful servant, you have successfully navigated through the soteriological issues and have determined the right course of thought. You get a special crown for the right answer…Ding!”


      “well done thou good and faithful servant, you have figured it all out without careful investigation. Your experience has led you on the right path”

      But rather

      “well done thou good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in what I gave you”

      He desires a life that is lived for HIM, that surrenders self. And the more we can learn about Him, the more it should prompt a continued learning and a continued dying. How sad it is that He has condescended to reveal Himself in scripture, that we would not take a systemized and thorough study of the scripture as well as the evolution of Christian thought serious and dismiss it as unspiritual.

    • Vance

      Exactly, Lisa, and well said.

      My emphasis is study hard, seek God in all His revelations, dwell upon God, BUT be hesitant, cautious and humble about hard and fast constructs outside of absolute essentials of the faith. Do not avoid the learning and growth, and do not even avoid the discussion and dialogue, but avoid the prideful hubris of dogmatism.

      And so many “isms” seem to lead in that direction.

    • Carrie Hunter

      OK Michael so when I can I break out my 12 Days of Calvinism?

      It seems to make an appearance every 6 months or so. (Albeit it is intended for Christmas time…)

    • YnottonY

      This Dortian statement of caution is not sufficiently heeded among many self-described Calvinists:

      “Finally, this Synod urges all fellow ministers in the gospel of Christ to deal with this teaching in a godly and reverent manner, in the academic institutions as well as in the churches; to do so, both in their speaking and writing, with a view to the glory of God’s name, holiness of life, and the comfort of anxious souls; to think and also speak with Scripture according to the analogy of faith; and, finally, to refrain from all those ways of speaking which go beyond the bounds set for us by the genuine sense of the Holy Scriptures and which could give impertinent sophists a just occasion to scoff at the teaching of the Reformed churches or even to bring false accusations against it.”

      I do not call hyper-Calvinists “Calvinists.” They are really false Calvinists, as Andrew Fuller rightly labeled them. To reject the universal saving will of God and the universal love of God is not only a serious departure from biblical teaching, but also a departure from the Confessional teaching. I know that Michael would agree that genuine Calvinistic doctrine should not be judged by these fringe groups any more than evangelical Arminianism should be judged based on what Open View Theists teach. However, these exaggerated positions are unfortunately taken and portrayed as the genuine article.

      Incidentally, all Christians should agree that God hates the non-elect. That is not what is at issue. The key difference with hypers concerns the idea that God ONLY hates the non-elect and does not love them as well. God hates all workers of iniquity, and that involves having a holy indignation against all unregenerate sinners, whether elect or not. The hypers, in their rash [filled with many false either/or dilemmas] and rationalistic theology, cannot grasp the distinct senses in which God can be said to both hate and love the non-elect at the same time, anymore than they can grasp how God loves and hates the unregenerate elect at the same time but in different senses. In their pride [not fearing James’ admonition to not be many teachers], they do not heed the cautions of Dort, either in terms of their thinking processes or in how they treat other people. The doctrines are not used to serve others with a view to their well-being, but merely used as a club to defeat and shame their “opponents.” By this means, the ultimate adversary of our souls can obscure profound biblical truths and cause overreactions on all sides to the damage of Christ’s church. Otherwise comforting doctrines can become a source for the sowing of discord among brothers, which is an abomination to God according to Proverbs.

      Grace to you,

    • C Michael Patton

      Awesome post Tony…thanks!

    • Lisa R

      Amen Tony. I am reminded of Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1-3;

      …walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    • Vance

      Tony, while I am not a Calvinist, I think you have made a good point.

      There is a general truth with all systematic theology, a danger that comes with the territory. Since we are trying to describe the ways of an infinite and, in so many ways, incomprehensible God with limited human language and a finite human understanding, we can only go so far in getting it right. We can only get approximations. Yes, we are made in God’s image, and our reasoning ability is God-given and meant for the study of the things of God, so there are some aspects we CAN “get” and the process is useful.

      But what we tend to do is head off to systematize and categorize and develop a comprehensible theological construct, and once we have something in place we feel comfortable. But that construct, no matter how good it is, will be flawed and incomplete and, in most cases, just plain wrong in some parts. Yet, we are invested in it, attached to it, even have developed our self-identity to it in a lot of cases, so we do more with it than is justified. We twist and turn everything as needed to fit that construct regardless if it is a square peg for that round hole. Instead, we should step back and say, well, that doesn’t quite fit, I agree. I will just cling to my theological construct a bit more loosely in that area, and not push it too far.

      Difficult to do.

    • Carrie Hunter

      Ah, yoo hooo… Tony…..

      You rock. 😀

    • David

      Frankly, I have not met a Calvinist that wasn’t …well…nasty tempered and hateful. Sorry to have to say that. And, as far as I can tell (at least so far) every Calvinist delights in the thought that “you” (whoever he is talking to or about) might not be elect (as he is) and is hated by God and will burn in Hell forever. Sheesh! What a religion…God deliver us from Calvinism!

    • Rick B.

      Blah, blah, blah David. You’re completely clueless. I guess Spurgeon had it wrong after all, eh? Sorry. I’m not buying any of it.

    • Carol

      Very insightful and so revelant. The sad fact is there are only two people I can not speak to any longer and one of them is a Calvinest. She was a friend for years but because my Christianity didn’t align with hers the way she demanded it align, she would continually argue with me and “correct” me. She admitted she doubted my salvation ironically even though I led her (through the Holy Spirit) to the Lord. I finally had to simply extract her finger wagging from my life. How sad. But I had no other choice she was so obsessive about “changing me” and pointing out MY sin I had no other choice. Your description is this woman to a tee. I hope she reads this and sees herself. All I wanted was to NOT hear about my “sin” from her in her “holier-than-thou” way every time there was communication between us. She was unable to stop herself so sadly we are not on speaking terms.

    • marvin

      I am a Calvinist, I wish I were better able to express myself, my devotion to Christ and my loyalty to the word of God. But it seems that instead of a holy Spirit life issuing forth, something akin to the flesh creeps out. The love I would give, I seem to dangle out there, no lavishing love just puny deserving conditions. I have 5 points for a fact, but I also have too much self, too much internal pridefulness. The greatest deterrent for my brothers becoming reformed in their theology has been me. I want the Charismatic life where the presence and power of God moves mightily through me and testifies to the reality of God living in men. I pray for the unmistakable working of God in my speech and in my life that would lead others to believe what I am and what I believe in are the same thing. The reformed interpretation of scripture is not so difficult for my brothers to accept when I most conform to Christ. I am never ashamed of my calvinism, I am ashamed when I am so unlike my Lord.

    • Carol Van Drie

      Excellent article and why it caught my attention in my sensory overloaded day was because it was a Calvinist who I had to eliminate from my life entirely. One of only two people in my more than 1/2 century of living on this earth I’ve had to do that with ever. I forgive the person – I truly have, but they were incapable of extending grace to me – constantly harassing me about MY sin and even going so far as to say I couldn’t be saved because I wasn’t a Calvinist in precisely the way they wanted me to be.

      I’m not a Calvinist per se – I’m not really any label. I just know I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior and know that the Word of God is eternally God’s perfect Holy love letter to His people. I believe in the Trinity and all the Christian Orthodox core beliefs. Yet to this person I was unsaved, sinful and essentially hopeless because I didn’t believe exactly as they did. You described this person in your essay and yes, this person, as I am – are American. Thank you for clarification as when I pray for this person I was still puzzled as to why they were like this. Now I know.

    • Prometheus

      I am always glad when Calvinists affirm things that seem antithetical to their belief. One of which is when you affirm that God loves everyone. The question you asked your friend regarding what God commands us to do and then whether God loves his enemies is great. The problem I see is that while God loves his enemies (even the non-elect), for those of us who disagree with Calvinism, we cannot see how God in any way loves the non-elect if he has chosen not to give them an opportunity for salvation. For us that only shows that he is cruel. Such love, in our view, does not deserve the term love. For the Arminian, there is no hidden vs. revealed will in God. He does not proclaim repentance and then secretly will it for a secret number. He has revealed that he wants all to be saved, that he loves all, and he has granted all the opportunity to respond.

      I would also like to challenge that it seems unfitting for people to call themselves Calvinists if they don’t subscribe to what Calvin himself taught. Double predestination, divine determinism, etc. seems clearly taught in Calvin’s thought (and Luther’s as well). The hyper-Calvinists actually seem to follow Calvin’s thought better than the more moderate Calvinists. I’m not complaining about your beliefs, just frustrated that you cling to the label.

    • Diane

      I’m pretty sure I’m the person that commenter Carol is referring to.

      She’s right. I was that obnoxious Calvinist in her life. I don’t remember finger wagging but who wants to remember something like that, right? Im sure I did wag that finger. It wasn’t only her who was on the receiving end of my finger wagging, I’m sad to say.

      I’m so thankful that she has forgiven me. I’ve wondered for years why our friendship broke down. God had me “stumble” upon this article today. Isn’t God so kind? Now I know.

      It may be too late for restoration of a close friendship with one another but I am at peace knowing I have her forgiveness.

      I have “calmed down” in my Calvinism. I am much more balanced …. It took being in a church where the church culture abused the doctrines of grace for me to see it in myself. I have been out of this church now for two years and I feel like shackles have been removed from my ankles. I now understand how easy it can be to get caught up in groupthink.

      For the record, I know my friend is saved. I was way off base in even judging that.

      Thank you for this article. A good message for me.

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