I must admit that I am shocked at Calvinist attacks on Arminians. I am sure that there are Arminians that attack Calvinists, but I rarely see it. Maybe Arminians are not as zealous for their theology or maybe they are content that Calvinists choose that position on their own. I have seen the debate get so intense that it is claimed that Arminians believe in a different God and/or Jesus than that of Calvinists (or that of the Bible). I would like to comment on this.
I have no problem with Calvinists and Arminians disagreeing on theology. The question is about the root of the disagreement. Is it that Calvinists accept the plain reading of Scripture and Arminians hate God and so are determined to take away from God’s sovereignty? I don’t believe that is true. I believe both groups are trying to be faithful to the Bible and happen to arrive at a different interpretation. The Bible teaches both predestination and the need to choose Jesus. Perhaps the emphasis should be on one or the other, but both are there.
Do both groups believe in the God of the Bible? When I read John Calvin and John Wesley, I cannot conclude that either is inventing their own Jesus for their own purposes. Both are digging into the Bible and preaching God’s truth the way they understand it and I suspect they would have gotten along better than most of their followers. What we need to remember is that this is not a discussion between orthodoxy and heresy but rather a discussion that takes place within orthodoxy.
The final thing I want to say is that non-Christians see these discussions. When Calvinists and Arminians attack each other, especial in social media, it is not taking place in secret. Non-Christians see another reason why Christianity is not true when they see the venom in our theological disagreements. I am not saying the discussions should end, I am saying that they should be taken in the context of love that will show non-Christians that even in our disagreements we love each other.