I have been spending some important and prayerful time working through my worldview when it comes to Christian belief. On many aspects I love much of the preaching that Calvinism offers; but, I recoil in horror and cannot take ownership, nor do I find their five main sola’s have much biblical support. At the same time, I am not truly Arminian; though again I enjoy and love much of the preaching and teaching that I find in classical Arminianism. I am not Roman Catholic, though once again, I do find some pastoral support in some of their doctrines and practices – such as the confessional. I’m not a quaker, though some of my favourite authors are quakers. I am Charismatic / Pentecostal in regards to experiencing the fullness of the Spirit, which includes speaking in tongues – though, I don’t hold to the belief that speaking in tongues is the main sign of the Baptism of the Spirit.
This afternoon I discovered a nice essay titled “Neither Calvinists nor Arminians but Baptists.” It’s a paper from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the U.S.A. I was extremely impressed and encouraged to read this paper; even though its now four years old. I enjoyed reading how the authors stood firm on their own belief structures, without being apologetic about it. Its my own experience that Calvinists can be extremely dogmatic in their push and zeal to evangelise the brethren to hold to their particular doctrinal beliefs. In many ways I find this ironic, as Jesus calls us to go out into the world to make disciples. However I digress.
I think its important for every Christian to know what they believe, and why they believe it. And not just believe it because someone has taught them this is the way it is. I have to say that I am nearly a Baptist in my world view – except for the fact that I’m not a cessationist and have a different interpretation of what the gift of tongues is, to that of most Baptists. I’m also hold to the position of annihilationism when it comes to the doctrine of hell. And when it comes to end times, I am a Panmillenialist, which means that it will all pan out in the end. (Though in saying this, I dislike with a passion left behind type theology.) So as you can see, I don’t think I fit into the Baptist camp either.
However, this I do know. Christ has redeemed me from the hold of sin. I stand before God the Father, confident in his work for me. And this confidence is enough for me.