So who are the cowards?
In recent days this website has been hacked fairly consistently now, so far without any success. Every attacking IP that I’ve checked was listed as abusive, with just about all being serious repeat offenders. This means that our website has attracted a significant amount of attention from those who think it’s acceptable to be violently aggressive against anyone that offends them in any way. Such people do not consider it a problem to hit out at their opponents, in much the same way that we have road rage, house invasions and gang bullying. They will generally only attack if they feel they have superior numbers and greater fire power than those they pick on; that is, they do not believe in fighting fairly but consider that the most important requirement is to hurt the other person without risking getting hurt themselves. Such people never attack if they think they themselves might get hurt; they are chickens in every sense of the word. They also run and hide before they can be discovered; this demonstrates their fear of retaliation. Like cowards they fight from cover because they fear the consequences if they become known to their opposition.
There’s nothing of any real value on our website, unless you consider biblical teaching to be a saleable commodity. But they still consider it necessary to hit out. So why? (Of course, I did put a post online – “Calvinisms” – that spelled out the basic heresies of calvinism just a week or so before this occurred. It is likely to have caused some wrath among that self-declared righteous mob, so logically it could strongly suggest irate calvinists behind this.) Like road rage low-life, they hit out because they have been personally offended somehow. No-one has actually done anything to them except perhaps hurt their feelings, yet this can be a huge issue for those with low self-esteem. And like bullies who hit out to boost their own self-esteem, these people find strength in their ability to hurt others. The more that others get hurt, the more these people feel “empowered” by their bullying. (All dictators are imbued with similar personalities.) Such people are generally incapable of standing their ground intellectually, so in their incompetence they hit out physically. As the saying goes, violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
It may not be those who are offended who are actually doing the attacking, but if you have enough money or influence (or both), you can always find mercenaries who will do the dirty work for you. In that way such people somehow believe they are “keeping their hands clean”. They may be able to convince others (and perhaps even themselves) that they are not responsible for such cowardly activities, yet effectively their hands are covered in blood guilt. When they come to worship God, he will not hear, for they are covered with the guilt of their sin. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:15)
But what people would feel so threatened by our website, yet feel so incapable of debating the issue up front and out in the open? What people would think it necessary to destroy the work of anyone opposing them? Just recently I was asked (via a comment to this website) – Did you express your concerns personally to the preachers that you are labeling as heretics prior to making public online statements about them? But I would rephrase that question to ask the cowards who are trying to destroy this website – Did you express your concerns personally to the person whose opinions you find offensive before just attempting to do a hit and run on the website?
You only have to look at who is challenged by our website statements, for the only logical answer here is that those attacking the website are people who (a) feel threatened by our information and (b) believe they are incapable of defending themselves using sola scriptura (the Bible alone). (Or else these people are irrational, incapable of rational thinking, people that we would term “insane”; many road rage attacks are seemingly by such people!)
Now who could these people be, I wonder? Who have we opposed that might have found it too difficult to defend their views rationally and objectively using the Bible alone? Because whoever has been attacking our website will be associated in some way with such people. Could it, perhaps, be calvinists who don’t approve of what we say about their beloved beliefs? But calvinists are such nice, easy to get along with people, aren’t they? So biblical, too; one would expect them to get into their Bibles to study and demonstrate my faults, wouldn’t they? And, of course, they are the epitome of graciousness, for their God is the God of grace, isn’t he? Calvinists are so loving, so caring, so kind, so biblical that they would feel ashamed to be seen as trouble-makers, wouldn’t they? Or would they?
Calvinists, especially those of the new calvinist variety, are often seen (even by their own) as aggressive, arrogant, abrasive, know-it-all, sneering, etc. Within the SBC of USA, the battle lines are being drawn over calvinism’s aggression.
However, there is now a “New Calvinism” movement, “committed to advancing in the churches an exclusively Calvinistic understanding of salvation, characterized by an aggressive insistence on the ‘Doctrines of Grace’ (‘TULIP’), and to the goal of making Calvinism the central Southern Baptist position on God’s plan of salvation.”
Even SBC calvinists see the new calvinist aggression as excessive.
Every generation of Southern Baptists has the duty to articulate the truths of its faith with particular attention to the issues that are impacting contemporary mission and ministry. The precipitating issue for this statement is the rise of a movement called “New Calvinism” among Southern Baptists. This movement is committed to advancing in the churches an exclusively Calvinistic understanding of salvation, characterized by an aggressive insistence on the “Doctrines of Grace” (“TULIP”), and to the goal of making Calvinism the central Southern Baptist position on God’s plan of salvation.
I, yes even as a Calvinist, firmly stand with these men in opposing this “New Calvinism”. …. I am especially opposed to those that “are characterized by an aggressive insistence on the ‘Doctrines of Grace’ (TULIP). I’m opposed to that because aggressive insistence goes against “teaching with gentleness and respect”. Furthermore, I do not support an aggressive insistence that others be Calvinists because it denies the very sovereignty and power of God that it claims to uphold. https://sbcvoices.com/why-im-opposed-to-new-calvinism/
Another comment in a forum: Calvinists I have met …. seem to be very pushy, arrogant and aggressive about what they believe and can’t seem to let it go until people believe them. They try really hard to convince people. It was worse in bible college, but that’s another story. They just don’t come off as people at ease or at peace with God, like something is bugging them or something like that. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to believe in something that causes you to have to defend that point of view so aggressively.
And from a calvinist soon after on that same forum: As a Calvinist, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, there are many Calvinists that do exactly what you are describing.
Or from Derek Rishmawy, a new calvinist writing here for The Gospel Coalition (a new calvinist group)
Let’s be honest and say a lot of Calvinists won’t admit this difficulty, and it comes out in the condescending, aggressive, abrasive, and unhelpful way they approach theological engagement with people who disagree. You know the kind. You can find them in Bible studies, blog comment sections, insular Reformed churches that nobody visits; the archetypical newbie who presents masterfully botched iterations of Reformed doctrines, as if they were the most obvious truths of God that only a perversely obstinate fool could miss; the crusty expert who adds in just enough condescension and sneering to belie all his talk of grace.
This was my final reason for being put off from Calvinism: really arrogant, thickheaded, (often young) know-it-all, sneering Calvinists. Who wants to be planted in soil that yields such fruit? In the long run that isn’t the best reason to reject a doctrine, as it’s just another version of the common atheist objection: “But if Christianity were true, then Christians should be great, but all the Christians I know are jerks so it must be false” (see C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity). Still, there’s something to it given Christ’s own declaration that people are known by their fruits.
It is fairly safe to assume that calvinists (especially of the new calvinist breed) are condescending, abrasive, unhelpful, aggressive, arrogant, thickheaded, know-it-all sneering calvinists. After all, it’s a new calvinist who states this clearly on a new calvinist website. So, even they admit this. What happens, then, when they get into a situation where they cannot freely hammer their arguments down their opponents’ throats because they are not able to do this without losing credibility? Do they then try to destroy their opponents merely because they cannot defeat them any other way? Would these people crash a website simply because it was the only way to shut it up? You may be the judge here, although if I were the jury, I would probably bring in a verdict of guilty, that the calvinists are guilty as charged.
I’ll finish with what I wrote on my previous post assuring all that we are confident of victory in Christ because of God’s great and precious promises. We who are Christians may be assured that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37), and that all things that sovereign God permits into our lives will work together for good (Romans 8:28). Our response to these great promises (through our faith in the One who promises) is to give thanks always for all things to God in the name of Christ our Saviour (Ephesians 5:20), and, like Jesus’ disciples, rejoicing that we are called by our sovereign God to a ministry that the enemy persecutes. And they (the disciples) departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. (Acts 5:41) It is truly a blessing to be called to such a ministry. We praise God for His faithfulness and we pray for those who, greatly misled, consider it necessary to spiritually oppose us. May God bless them with an understanding of His love that sent Christ to die on the cross for all mankind (1 John 2:2) that those who choose to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved will truly be saved (Romans 10:13).
Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.