Having held a Reformed stance on God’s salvation of men for many years, I have witnessed time and time again (having stayed in traditional, Southern Baptist churches), how Calvinism and Calvinists cause quite a bit of stir within many churches. This stirring up of discord within churches concerning what is commonly called the Doctrines of Grace is generally multifaceted, and it is usually caused by two things–the hard doctrines of Calvinism itself placed against the doctrines of men that have crept into the church, and the Calvinist himself. While there can be little done, save by Spirit of God, with regard one’s hard heart toward the Doctrines of Grace, what is often the cause of one’s hard heart is not the doctrines themselves, but the person who bears the doctrines.
For, unfortunately, is commonplace that those who are most vocally Calvinists are those who would esteem themselves to be scholars of some grade and great exegetes of the Word of God. These, at times, act as though they bear some special knowledge that others in church have missed and therefore have about them a certain air of arrogance with regard to their particular understanding of the Scriptures.
This common occurrence within the ranks of Calvinists is a strange one, for it contradicts the very doctrines that they seek to propagate. For the Doctrines of Grace exist so that all boasting is eliminated (cf. Rm. 3:27; Eph. 2:8), and these who hold to such teachings are often very arrogant people. They demonstrate by their lives and their haughty attitudes that they do not believe the very doctrines that they boast in, for if they did, they would be very humble people.
Now, I write this both as an exhortation and a confession, for I am by no means devoid of all human boasting. For I have found myself many times delighting in whether or not my interpretation of Scripture was right compared to others, rather than boasting in cross of Christ alone and counting my arrogance dead in him. My exhortation both to you, the Calvinist, and to myself is to believe the very doctrines that we claim to believe and by it become a very humble people. For if we are not, we demonstrate that our greatest joy is not in seeing Christ glorified, but it is in seeing ourselves and our understanding of Scripture glorified.