Arminian Today

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Short Thoughts on Sending My Sons to a Calvinist College

I am a long ways from having my sons ready for college.  I have 9 more years for my first to enter into college.  However, the thought crossed my mind today about college.  I attended a conservative, evangelical college that has since changed in many ways.  When I first entered college, I came to my school by default as I wanted to attend a Bible college in Florida but changed my mind at the last second.  I dreaded my first year at college as the students around me were very shallow, few were seeking God, and the school was largely Calvinistic.  However, I persevered and graduated and did enjoy my time in college though I would not go there if I could do it all over again.

As I ponder this, I question would I send my sons to a Calvinist college?  I went into my school an Arminian and came out a stronger Arminian.  I was not one of these college boys who liked to debate theology.  I simply went to classes, worked at night at UPS, and spent my other free time hanging out with my church friends and seeking God.  I did not spend my time reading Arminius or Wesley or Calvin.  I didn’t care about the issue.  All I knew was that I was saved, hungry for Jesus, wanting to use my life to exalt Him however that looked.  I met some other international students who were prayer warriors and they would be my friends at college for their passion for Jesus and not for their theology (in fact I don’t remember once in four years discussing Arminianism or Calvinism with them).

However, I had a friend (who is now with the Lord after dying from cancer) who, like me, came to our college as an Arminian (he was Nazarene).  By graduation, he had embraced Calvinism.  He graduated and attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY where his Calvinism was rooted and grounded.  I do rejoice that my friend remained faithful to Jesus (though initially he embraced Calvinism for their teaching on the security of the believer because of besetting sins in his life).  He later pastored a couple of Baptist churches where he preached Calvinism.  Again, I praise God that my brother died in Jesus and not in sin.  In this case, his Calvinism drew him closer to Jesus as he grew sick.  I rejoice that my brother was faithful to Christ till the end.

Here are my thoughts on the issue.  Obviously, neither Arminianism nor Calvinism is a salvation issue. I know some will contend that it is.  I don’t.  I believe on can be an Arminian and be saved (praise God!).  One can be a Calvinist and be saved (though barely!).  In reality, only Jesus saves us.  If my boys love Jesus and that is evident, I will be a happy man.  Of course, if my boys did decide to attend a Calvinist school, I would simply pray over them and debate them until I prove to them that I am right!

The bottom line, in all seriousness, is that I want my boys to love Christ.  I want them to go where He wants them to go.  If the Lord wants my boys to not go to college, that is fine with me.  If He wants them to go to the mission field after they finish school, I am okay with that.  I just want my boys to exalt Jesus.  I pray daily for them to be saved and for them to live lives that glorify Christ.  I often remind them that as they grow older, my sins will become more obvious.  I am not a perfect man though I strive for holiness (Hebrews 12:14).  I remind my boys that as they see my imperfections, may they always remember that I am saved by grace and it is grace alone that will take us to heaven.  I want my boys eyes to be on Jesus and Jesus alone.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/23/2013 at 5:34 PM

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