Why the Reformed Faith?

March 19, 2010

Christian Life

By Dave Bignell

This is something I’d like to address, a little at a time, over the coming weeks.  For those of you who know me, you know I grew up and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church.  The place of my childhood and teens.  After college and several years hence, I found myself, as a young adult, lead to the Calvary Chapel Movement.  It was there, for about thirteen years, that I found a home, that I lived out my faith and where I served in the Church.  Both have been, without doubt, used by God to monumentally grow my faith in Christ and draw me closer to the Living God.  Of course a mere few words cannot express the foibles of a life lived; there were many ups and downs, backslidings and growing spurts.

Transition now to mid-life.  I’m married and happy and content where I’m at; the local Calvary Chapel.  There, with some massively good people and very close friends, I was content to stay.  I had no reason to leave and firmly believed you had to stick with the church, through good times and bad, and totally support the place that God had ordained for you to be.  I would not have left, but,…there was a disconnect.  Seemingly, from my perspective, through failings of my own and the separation of others from me, my wife and I left.   

You ask God to direct your life,… then time passes without change,….so you think you’re where you need to be.  Then your plans are truncated; as they were with us, and you find yourself heading in a totally different direction.  That direction was to Leticia’s home church, the church of her youth.  At this point, I assumed we’d be there only temporarily; that God would take us someplace soon enough.  Again, I’m trying to stay a step ahead by trying to figure out God’s plans; after all, He has plans for everyone, right? 

Now at this point I’m a dispensationalist, but I didn’t know enough to call myself that (I was just a Bible believing Christian, what was dispensationalism?).  I also carried with me the semi-Pelagious beliefs that typify most evangelicalism today.  Of course, though, I didn’t know what Pelagianism was.  The Gospel was for those who weren’t saved and Jesus has a special plan for our lives.  Such was my belief system round about that time.

 A few weeks pass and everything is fine and then I hear this odd message and the Pastor mentioned that Jesus died for the elect.  Well, if you know me, you know that I corrected him after the service by informing him that he meant to say that Christ died for all mankind.  He just kind-of nodded his head and said “hmmmn,” and we left it at that.  I don’t remember what exactly clued me in to the fact the he was talking about limited atonement, but when I googled it, up popped the longest cuss word in modern evangelicalism,….”Calvinism”…*gasp*.   

Well, my wife and I are still there, about two and a half years now.  Suffice to say, we are very happy and content with the direction that God, our Pastor, and the Church body have taken us.  Embarking on a consideration of the reformed tradition is a remarkable and eye-opening experience; one I thank God for, daily.  I find Him more Holy, Wonderful, and Loving than I ever had before.  In the coming weeks I’ll attempt to share aspects of Calv_nism and the Doctrines of Grace that I find so wonderful and peaceful and perfectly in line with Biblical truth and the historical Christian faith.  For now, have a look at this video put out by John Piper and Desiring God Ministries.

The above video can be found at: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MediaPlayer/4028/Video/

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