Friday, 22 March 2013

Why I am a Complementarian Calvinist Amillennial Christian

For a while now I have been thinking about writing about a few (kinda) contentious issues in the church, not really to antagonise anyone and definitely not to cause division, but mostly for my own reasoning so I can logically place my thoughts down on some issues. I hope it will also help others who haven't thought about it to do so and to "hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience" (1 Tim 3:9). (I know that verse is immediately in context for a deacon, but I would hope it would still apply for any thinking Christian, perhaps lead one day to become a deacon).

The positions that I will be arguing for in this series are secondary to the faith of Christianity, which means a Christian may be on the complete opposite side of me and still I can call them a brother (or sister) and a fellow worker in Christ and I would have no reason to question if they are really saved despite their contrary position to me.

When it comes down to it, I hold to my positions because that is what I think the Bible says. Of cause my Christian opponents would say the same so framing the debate in terms of who better holds to the Bible may not be helpful, but I can not think of any other way to argue for a Christian point other than from the Bible. Both sides read the same Bible and can see what the strings of text says on the page (or phone/tablet/screen). The issue comes one step removed from the text and our interpretation of it and where we put weight on different parts of the Bible and how we apply it today.

Thirteen years ago, when I was at uni and just before I started to really think about Christianity, I would say that I was an Egalitarian Arminian Premillennialist. I put this down to really just accepting the people around me. Some may say that I may have been rebelling against them, but I don't think that is the case. If it is, it is a very long rebellion and to me it seems to make more Biblical sense than the other positions. It didn't take me long to change from a Premillennialist to an Amillennialist position, maybe about a year. It took me even more time after that (maybe three to four years) to see Calvinism over Arminian (and then later wavier and come back again on a few points) and it took even more time to change from being an Egalitarian to a Complementarian.

So another point for me in this series is that I can see that people change their positions, sometimes very slowly (I'm sure there are people who go in the contrary direction to me over time as well). Just because I am in one camp right now doesn't mean I was ten years ago and perhaps after some more reading of the Bible, I might be in a different camp in 10 years from now. I am willing for that to happen, provided I can see a consistent approach to that position in the Bible. I would encourage anyone who disagrees with what I say to speak up in the comments, but I must ask that you back up your disagreement with a Biblical point, as ultimately the issues isn't what camp you live in, who you rally behind or how you label yourself, the issue is what the Bible says and what it means today.

So in this series I am planning to post on why I am a Complementarian then a Calvinistist than an Amillennial. This order is based on what I think are their importance in the contemporary church (ie being an amillennial isn't a big of an issue today compared with being a complementarian). How long will this series go for? I have no idea, but my guess is probably a long time (I still haven't satisfactorily finished other series I have started, so I may be over promising already). This may even be broken up into three series that might run concurrently sometimes. Anyway, at least how I see it today, this will set the direction of this blog, at least for 2013.


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