Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Anti-Calvinist's Idea of Consistent Calvinism

Kerrigan Skelly has posted many videos on YouTube in an attempt to refute Calvinism. His latest is a lengthy, 32-minute video from a 2010 Daytona Beach spring break outreach during which he encountered "one of the most consistent Calvinists I have ever met." He posted it as a warning of Calvinism taken to its logical extreme.

During the course of this interaction, the foul-mouthed "Calvinist" in question does seem to know a little bit about Reformed theology. He even throws out the names of John Piper and Paul Washer. But this man most definitely seems to fit the bill of what we would call a "cage stage Calvinist."

Naturally, Mr. Skelly assumes this man exemplifies Calvinism: "He's the one who claimed to be a Calvinist. It's obvious he is, but he's still living in a wicked, sinful life. And that's consistent Calvinism to me."

Case closed, I guess. Well, you be the judge.

(WARNING: contains quite a bit of NSFW language)

The alleged "Calvinist" is certainly in the wrong, but there was another troubling thing that jumped out at me. At the 23:10 mark we hear our drunk "Calvinist" friend say, "You are a sinner. Admit it." What is the only biblical response to that question for a Christian? "Yes, I am. A sinner saved by grace." However, the person with the camera says, "I'm not a sinner, I'm a saint. I stopped sinning." I just don't see how that squares with 1 John 1:8: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

While Mr. Skelly seems to think this video shows us consistent Calvinism, perhaps what we're actually witnessing is consistent synergism. Rather than presenting the truth in love, these street preachers seem to take a "Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah! You're going to Hell and I'm not!" approach.

I could be wrong. Maybe my own bias is clouding my judgment. But if anyone thinks he has a reason to boast, isn't it the one who believes he had a part in his own salvation?

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