Monday, July 13, 2009

Those Calvinists...

Of which I am one. I've been thinking about all the responses to the local "hit" film, Seeds.

Watch that film, and I don't think it's hard to tell that the main message has strong Calvinist and Reformed theological leanings.

"You can only plant the seeds, whether they grow or not is up to God." That's about as Reformed as it gets.

Yet, despite that fact that many Arminian folks have likely seen Seeds, no one seems to have a problem with that. No arguing that people should be free to accept or reject God. No problem with God having the choice to save some and not others. Nope. All I've heard is "great movie," "that was hilarious," and the occasional "good/great message, I really appreciated that."

Upon some thought, and given several months of hindsight, I'm starting to think that maybe most Christians are really more sympathetic to the Calvinist (and biblical) theology of salvation that they'd care to admit. Maybe the Calvinist tag is a turn off to some, but something tells me it's more than that. That deep down inside, the Holy Spirit is urging all Christians to acknowledge the all-powerful sovereignty of God and give all glory to Him. This urging is especially strong in the realm of salvation. We don't like the idea of man being dead in his sins, but it's even harder to reject the idea that God doesn't have (or at least doesn't exercise) the power to save sinners when and how He chooses. We really want to think that we have a say in our salvation, but the thought that our salvation might be insecure based on our will is terrifying.

In the end, of course, it all comes down to scripture, and therein lies the strongest aspect of the theology of Seeds. "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who waters or he who plants is anything, but God who gives the growth." You can't argue with the clear teaching of God's word, and this passage is pretty darn clear. I honestly can't see how the Arminian would respond to Seeds, even though it's quite simple and straightforward. Come on Christians, we don't choose to be saved. We are incapable of doing so, but God isn't. He is the one who made a way of salvation, the one who chose us before the foundation of the world, and the one who shapes and remakes our wills as He draws us to a relationship with Him.

Like it or not, that's the truth, and that's what I tried to capture in our screenplay.

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