Is Believing in Jesus Considered "Working For Salvation"?

Calvinists define "believing" as a "working for salvation" thing.  And since we can't earn or work for our salvation, they say we can't choose to believe in Jesus on our own because that would be "working for salvation."  

(This is why they say the elect have to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit first, before they believe, so that they can believe.  Essentially, in Calvinism, the elect are chosen for salvation first, before the beginning of time, then they get the Holy Spirit and He regenerates them so they can believe, and then they believe in Jesus.  So they are saved before they get the Holy Spirit, and they get the Holy Spirit before they believe in Jesus.   They are saved before they believe!  So very backwards from what the Bible says!  "Oh," they say, "but the Bible says faith is a gift God gives us, meaning He only gives it to those who get saved, the elect."  But is that really what the Bible says?)    

Yes, I agree we c…

Leaving Calvinism: Free To Decide

Free to Decide: Confessions of a Former Calvinistby Brandon Cox

This pastor tells us honestly how he was influenced into Calvinism, how it affected his ministry and pride, and how he came out of Calvinism.  

He also shows us how all the points of Calvinism hinge on each other, making it stable in itself but fragile if any one of those points should be disproven.  (Calvinism, I believe, hinges on Total Depravity and a wrong view of God's sovereignty.  And therefore, they will guard these doctrines with all they've got, which is what gives rise to all their word games, mind games, twisted verses, double meanings, etc..)

I appreciate that he took the time to share his story of how Calvinism gets entrenched, as well as how people can come out of it.  (I still have hope for those at my ex-church.)

I think this line says a lot:  "Formerly I had sought proof of Calvinism, now I simply wanted God's answers to my deepest questions."

If more Calvinists adopted this principle, a…

God Would Never Do That? Or Would He? (repost)

(End of the "End Times" series)

God would never send a famine or economic distress to get our attention.
God would never send disease to open our eyes to our bad choices and to call us to repentance.
God would never use wars or violence to cause us to cry out to Him.
God would never use a tornado, earthquake, or tsunami to draw our hearts back to Him.
God is not like that.He is a soft, squishy, all-loving God who would never dream of punishing or disciplining or causing any kind of pain for us.  He just wants us to be happy.  He’s all about catering to our requests and pouring out His goodness on us and allowing us to live life on our own terms, because we are the center of the universe.We are the lords of our own lives.Aren’t we?
Surely, in this day and age of rampant sexual diseases, violent wars, economic recession, famines, natural disasters, devastating consequences of our choices, etc., none of this has been allowed by God in order to open our eyes to our need for Him.God wo…

Blogger Is Making Changes (And It May Affect My Blog)

Blogger is making changes to the format of all blogs.  It shouldn't affect what you see, but it does affect what I see and how I access my posts, write, and manage the blog.  They have given us a "sneak peek" at the new format ... and I really don't like it.  And so I am not sure how much I will write after the change is permanent.  

But thankfully, they won't be forcing the change on everyone for a couple months.  So what I am going to do is load up all the posts I can on the "schedule," so that it posts them automatically on the date I set for each post.  That will probably fill a couple months.  (I'm actually posting the same series on all my blogs during these next months, just not on the same days.)  But then after that, I'm not sure if I'll be writing much because it's harder to use the new format.  At least for me.  (I hate changes.  Why can't people just leave well-enough alone?)

But my hope is that we Christians aren't her…

UGW #2: Cause vs. Allow

"Understanding God's Will" Question 2:

Well, what about verses like Proverbs 16:4: “The Lord works out everything for his own end ... ”Doesn’t this mean that He causes everything that happens for His own reasons?

I don’t think that’s what it means.It doesn’t say He causes everything that happens for His own reasons; it says He works them out for His own ends.(I’ll break this down further in later posts.)  God has an end goal, and He knows how to take whatever we do and work it together to reach that end.But this doesn’t necessarily mean that He causes us to do what we do for His own reasons (because if He did then He would be responsible for our sins, not us) or that He causes the tragedies that we face for a reason.

Now keep in mind as you read this series that I am not challenging the whole “Everything happens for a reason” idea for those who face trials in the quiet, optimistic assurance that there is some deep, unknown reason for their trial or tragedy.  For those who f…