Springfield Presbyterian Church
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Where God's Love Meets Your Needs

Pastor's Blog

 Rev. Clay Stevens

A Chosen People A Chosen People

If any word typifies the stereotype of Presbyterians it would have to be the word "chosen."  In seminary we had a basketball team called the Frozen Chosen. This was a phrase used to describe the stern and upright worship that was practiced for so long in Presbyterian churches.  The notion of chosen is a key word in Calvin's understanding of election.   In classic evangelical circles, we have this sense that everyone can be saved who hears the gospel and responds with faith.
The problem with the word chosen is that we find it in scripture.  In reformed theology, the kind that Calvin articulated, the notion of chosen has to do with God's sovereign choice about who will spend eternity with Him.  For Calvin, salvation is by invitation only. 
As an evangelical, I become uncomfortable with such concepts about God.  Please don't misunderstand me, I fully believe in God's sovereignty, that is His absolute power and right to rule the hearts of all men and women.  But my understanding of God and election falls short of Calvin's view.  I guess I must blame it on my Methodist upbringing.  John Wesley came to a different understanding of election than Calvin.  Wesley suggested that God's choice has already been made for all people through Jesus Christ.  His notion of election has been called prevenient grace because God's choice for all was made at Calvary.  John Calvin saw Jesus' death at Calvary only applied to those God had foreordained, or predestined to experience it.  It is not a big deal really even  though their differences are genuine, both schools of thought are expressing that not all people will experience the saving grace of Jesus Christ.   For me, though I am Presbyterian and appreciate John Calvin's thought and contributions to the faith, I still feel more comfortable with Wesley's notion of prevenient grace. This admittedly puts me in conflict with the Westminster Confession of Faith. If you have taken time to read this blog let me know what your think.


My first blog of 2016 - and my first blog ever... My first blog of 2016 - and my first blog ever...

New Year is synonymous with resolutions.  Lose weight, get in shape, start saving money, we all have those kinds of resolutions.  Maybe you have even decided to read the Bible through this year, or maybe you have committed to praying more intentionally every day.  Resolutions are good and healthy, they serve to motivate us in a positive direction.
As your session of elders met this month, we have made a few resolutions as well.  We decided that our website needs attention. The information was outdated and needed refreshing  so we are going to be more deliberate about keeping things up to date.  One way to do that is to have a weekly blog from the pastor.  So ta da, my first installment.  While we are talking about the session we also decided that it is time we upgrade the space on Main street that we own.  We don't really know what to call the space. Sometimes its the Kurl Korner, the green room with Jane Livers' hair salon interior design still in place.  The old C and L Floral Shop became the Way to Recovery so that name was not too hard, but now Way to Recovery is out.  We hope to create space that is more useable for classrooms and office space, not to forget we need larger modern bathrooms.  In the old C and L Floral Shop we are looking to have Heavenly Treasures possibly move in there.
Keep making good resolutions.  They give us hope and direction. I hope your new year's resolutions are being kept, and pray and be available to lend a hand to some on the projects we have here at church this year.  God bless!