Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Discipling Children

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

Teaching My Boys To Pray By Praying

The disciples of our Lord learned to pray by hearing Him pray (Luke 11:1).  The disciple’s prayer as found in Luke 11:1-4 is not to be prayer mantra.  The prayer Jesus taught was to be a model prayer.  Matthew 6:9 says that we are to pray this way and not pray this prayer.  Some churches pray the so-called “Lord’s prayer” from Matthew 6:9-13 week after week but do they really seek God?  Are they truly earnestly seeking His face?  I think not.

The best way to learn to pray then is through modeled praying.  I want to teach my boys to pray so I don’t read to them a book on prayer.  I don’t even really teach them from the Bible how to pray as much as I do one thing: I pray with them.  I kneel down next to their beds and I pray with them.  We pray for about 10 to 15 minutes.  I pray the most of course but I am proud of my older boys (Josiah and Haddon) who do pray with me.  I am seeking to teach them that prayer is not about simply asking God for this or that though there is nothing wrong with asking God for something (James 4:2).  We are to ask for that which glorifies God (1 John 5:14-15).  Many things we ask for do glorify God such as Him saving people or Him healing people but I also want to teach my boys that prayer is also praise.  Prayer is where we can bless the name of the Lord.

I have written this before but I believe it is a point we need to hear and that is that prayer is not learned by reading a blog post on prayer or listening to a sermon on prayer.  This may help (and it should) but this is not praying.  The secret to prayer is praying in secret (Matthew 6:6).  Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray (Luke 5:16).  To learn to pray, we must pray.  My boys are not going to learn to pray by hearing me teach on prayer.  I could exegete every major passage on prayer and teach them (and we do have a Bible study from the Gospel of John) but this would not teach them to pray.  For my boys to learn to pray, they must hear me praying and learn from my relationship with the Father (1 Corinthians 11:1).  I want to lead my boys by example.  I want them to learn to pray like me just as the disciples of Jesus learned to pray by listening to Him pray.

How dare we teach others to pray if we are not ourselves praying.  How dare we talk about the Lord who hears our cries and will answer us when we call to Him (Jeremiah 33:3) if we are not even beginning to truly believe His Word and seek His face.  The promises are clear (Matthew 7:7-11) so let us deny ourselves and press into God’s presence through deep intercessory prayer (1 Timothy 2:1).  I want my boys to learn to pray and they must learn by seeing this man of God pray.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/11/2013 at 11:09 PM

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