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A Holy Dance Battle

Ready to rumble? Calvinists, Arminians, and what both sides need to know about sharing the Gospel.
Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier
Theological dance battle of the ages

When you’re a Jet
You’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day

When you’re a Jet
If the spit hits the fan
You got brothers around
You’re a family man

You’re never alone
You’re never disconnected
You’re home with your own
When company’s expected
You’re well protected!

Then you are set with a capital J
Which you’ll never forget
’Til they cart you away
When you’re a Jet
You stay a Jet! 

This classic song from the classic play West Side Story is about the loyalty that the Jets, an inner-city gang of young men, had to each other amid cultural and racial turmoil.

The play itself is about two competing gangs—the Jets and the Sharks—in the heart of New York City in the 1950s. It’s full of music, romance, switchblades, and dance fights.

The Jets were Jets all the way. The Sharks were Sharks all the way.

It reminds me of two gangs that roam the back alleys of Twitter today, looking for a fight: Calvinists and Arminians.

Maybe we need a dance battle to figure everything out.

I’d prefer that to the current state of affairs: Christians bickering on social media before a watching world that wonders what the heck they’re fighting about.

A THEOLOGICAL FACE-OFF

Historically, God has used Christians from both theological camps to build His Kingdom. Two friends, John Wesley and George Whitefield, turned the colonies upside down with their on-fire preaching of the Gospel in the 18th century.

Sadly, these friends became “frenemies” early on. Their version of Twitter was writing open letters to each other that anyone could read. These letters were ablaze with theological differences. Wesley was Arminian, and Whitefield was Calvinist. It was a letter-writing, theological dance battle.

In the end, both realized that, ultimately, they were not enemies, but partners in the Gospel, fighting against the true enemy: Satan himself. Upon Whitefield’s death, Wesley was asked: “Do you think we will see Whitefield in Heaven?” Wesley answered: “No. I believe he will be so close to the throne of Christ we won’t be able to see him from where we are standing.”

A BETTER WAY TO FIGHT

Here’s my challenge to all sides: No matter your stance, love each other and share the Gospel.

That’s the attitude we should have toward our brothers and sisters in the “other camp.” We must remember that we’re not enemies, but family. It’s OK to differ. Stand where you stand, with love in your heart toward one another. That, in and of itself, is a witness to a watching world—especially when it comes to social media.

And when it comes to sharing the Gospel…

If you tend to be more Calvinist in your theology, then you may be motivated to share the Gospel because of the privilege and responsibility you have of being the instrument God uses to bring in the elect. As Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:10:

Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

If you tend to be more Arminian in your theology, then you may be motivated to share the Gospel because of the urgency of rescuing people from the Hell they’re headed to after death and the “hell” they’re going through right now.

Wherever you stand on these issues and whatever motivates you, share the Gospel with passion, clarity, love, and relentlessness.

Calling all Calvinists, Arminians, Calminians, and every other brand of true believer: Download the Life in 6 Words app, and start sharing the Gospel with boldness and love.

Let’s have our battle with Satan, not one another.

When you’re a Christian, you’re a Christian all the way!

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