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396 thoughts on “Support

  1. I didn’t know how to start a “thread” so I’m leaving this question as a reply:

    How do you start over in Christianity when you’ve lost foundation completely as to who Jesus is?

    1) Is Jesus the “Reformed Jesus” who all my former church friends still worship, seem so blessed by, openly preach “God didn’t choose everyone” (quoting their recent sermon) and quietly scrutinize everyone in their midst since some can be false converts, “reprobates”? Are these rather cold and dismissive people, but whom I have seen many times really worship Jesus, the chosen sheep whom I have to wait to be irresistibly drawn to be transformed into? Is salvation like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” but with a “new heart”?

    2) Or is he the Jesus I grew up with who talked like Linus in Charlie Brown Christmas and said “peace on earth” was for everybody and you could make your own decision about believing—but God isn’t going to stop you if you walk away because you’re not predestined to salvation or anything else so you’d better be careful?

    3) Or is it the Jesus in the middle who chose you already but doesn’t want you to know that or draw you to salvation yet because you’re still not asking in the “right way” or haven’t suffered enough loss and consequences yet to satisfy God that you’re repentant now and can receive mercy and salvation?

    I’m honestly not overjoyed to worship any of the Jesus’s above since they completely contradict each other so who knows which one is real. And each of these “brands” of Jesus are what I have been actually taught, all using the same book! I think my difficult experience in a Calvinist church seared a deep distrust as to who is. As frustrated as I get with the sermons of John Piper and his cronies, the plain truth is that his interpretation could be right. Which means I’m a trillion miles away from being elect since I’ve never ever been drawn by that Jesus or received that “spirit of truth” ever. Yet I see how steadfast these Reformers are and this is growing, not shrinking, in denominations. How can that many smart devoted followers of Jesus Christ be THAT completely wrong?

    Can someone start over somehow when they no longer trust God, the church and have even become afraid of Christians? Is there such thing as a spiritual “blank slate” or “delete” button with previous ingrained theologies?

    1. Hello Confusing Paths and welcome
      Yes you can start over – and the Lord would dearly want you to.

      I totally understand church as a place where unsuspecting people are abused!
      And I can especially understand how that would take place within a Calvinist church.

      Firstly – Jesus is your primary friend and the rock upon which you stand.
      I would suggest you read the words of Jesus on a regular (perhaps nightly) basis.
      Jesus is not compromised!
      His motives are pure!

      There are books are churches that abuse – which can be helpful for those who are struggling with doubts about whether they can trust their own perceptions in the matter of churches that abuse. If you are having those struggles – I would research those books.
      You will read the testimonies of others who have come out of painful and devastating situations which for some of them took years to be healed from.

      I think you will eventually also find like-minded sincere and honest people who understand churches that abuse.

      Don’t give up!!
      The Lord can and will deliver us from evil!
      The Lord can and will heal our wounds!


    2. Confusing,

      You asked a very very important question.

      From my studies, the answer is number 2, the Jesus you grew up with.

      Your #1, I believe, is for the Jews only, and that is the confusing issue for reformers who think that “FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JEW AND GENTILE. The problem with that is that gentiles weren’t already God followers to begin with.

      Those Jews were already God followers in the Law of Moses, aka works, who were chosen, if you will, to be God followers of Jesus, aka grace.

      Gentiles were never under works to begin with.

      You are safe to return to the Jesus you grew up with.

      I’m not reform, never have been, never will be.

      Ed Chapman

  2. I love this forum because I can finally ask questions about Jesus and Christianity I was never able to ask in my former reformed church without fear of rejection and judgement.

    I have now asked, prayed and begged Jesus to draw me to salvation hundreds of times since having to resign from my Calvinist church a few years ago after being publicly shamed and called a reprobate when they found out I had been hiding an alcohol problem but never told anyone at the church because I was afraid of the exact judgement and gossip that ultimately did result. if I were drawn to salvation, I would have never had that kind of a problem they said. The Pastor said that, “When you’re elect, you can take or leave alcohol. You can pick it up and just put it down and it has no power”. That’s never been true of any recovering alcoholic or addict I’ve known so that must be only the chosen elect who are “delivered” while the unchosen, unelect, who are predestined to hell, need AA and recovery programs to stay sober because they have no hope of deliverance? All these decades I thought I was saved but still struggling with addiction and despair. I didn’t realize that I was never saved, never even called to be saved, just foolish and deceived. I quit alcohol nearly three years ago but I guess I did it without God and just with pride since God doesn’t help anyone or listen to anyone’s prayers He didn’t already effectually choose. I keep waiting for something to change within me, some sign, some fragment of supernatural love that everyone who is effectually saved says they experience. I have never had that.

    I want to stop praying for salvation. It’s truly causing me harm at this point. To choose Jesus and then find out He didn’t, and still hasn’t, chosen me, has exhausted me. I’ve tried and tried for years but at some point just have to stop.

    My question: If I stop ridiculously asking Jesus to save me when he’s clearly heard me endless times, can I now assume that’s it? If God has to draw you and I now am certain he has chosen not to offer that to me, why not stop? I go to hell because I stopped asking? What kind of insanity is that! I can’t live like this anymore! I have to stop before continuing to beg for salvation destroys me. All I get in return is the dark lingering voices of my former church, pointing and shaming at me.

    1. Hello Giving Up
      What God requires of you is to believe in the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ on your behalf.
      He does not require you to continue to ask for something – when he has already communicated to you what he requires.

      Every human being is going to sin.
      That is the nature of being human.

      But every time you have the option to sin or not to sin – God is there to give you strength to sin less.
      For example – a drug addict may not have the power to stop taking the drug because his body is addicted to it.
      But he does have the power to take less of the drug today, and less of the drug than that the next time – and less of the drug than that the next time etc.

      Eventually he will have the physical power to resist taking the drug.
      And in the midst of temptation – God will be there to give him strength so that he can resist that temptation.

      There are many people who have come to Jesus with much greater and more powerful addictions.
      And He has delivered them wonderfully!!
      And His desire is to do that for you.
      He is FOR you and not against you.


    2. Welcome, “Giving Up”! Do you believe Jesus died on the cross to have your sins removed from your life, to save you from hell, and to make you become an everlasting member of His family? When you pray do you feel that God is your Father? Do you hate sin, love righeousness, love His Word and His people? If you can answer “yes” to all those questions without thinking you created those changes in your feelings yourself, but that God created them in you through His new birth, then you really should begin to have a settled assurance that you are in Christ.

      The condemning feelings that you feel, which were either created by others or even by yourself, or perhaps are fiery lying darts from the evil one shot into your mind, will not be enough to quench those results of the new birth that I listed, and are clearly listed in God’s Word, if the new birth has truly taken place.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

    The freeing thing about Provisionalism is that God offers salvation to all that would take Him up on His offer. There is none of this (for lack of a better term) voodoo, where you magically may or may not be ordained to be in the club. In Provisionalism you simply understand you have sinned, and accept the offer to be reconciled to the Creator through His Son. So simple. When you doubt, if you have even a hint of Calvinism in your life, it can take your eyes off the offer, and put it on yourself, i.e. “Maybe I am not of the elect” or “maybe there is something wrong with me”.

    1. Hello williamacowell and welcome

      Yes I agree!
      And additionally – you are not left – as the Calvinist is – with no CERTAINTY of whether or not you have been designed/created specifically for eternal torment in a lake of fire.

      And the non-Calvinist has another nice blessing which is never granted to the Calvinist.
      He is granted the function of choice.


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