Hello all. As you can see, I'm back and (hopefully) in top form. I had the down time I needed, and though it was brief, it was pretty good. Introspection is sometimes a very difficult thing to pull through, and I've been going through a lot of it lately.
First let me thank everyone who commented on the "Calvinist vs. Wesleyan" post. Yes, some of the comments did overwhelm me a bit, but that's mainly because I've been overwhelmed lately anyway, and with a variety of things. As far as whethor or not I'm a Calvinist or a Wesleyan...well, right now I'm still a Wesleyan, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. However, I do realize that I (along with Calvin, Wesley, and the rest of us) am just a small, insignificant human being. When we're talking about a God who created the very fabric of reality, then we have to have the humility to admit that our human doctrines and systems of belief can end up being infinitely fallible when compared to His infinite perfection.
The one thing I knew after that post was that I know very little. But I do know what I think matters most. I know God exists, I know Christ died for my sins, I know His Word, and I intend to keep it. Both Calvinists and Arminians (and many, many others) know these things, and so really, what's all the arguing about? Do not both Calvinists and Arminians preach the Gospel to the nations? Do they not both help the poor, sick, and needy? Do they not both aspire to love Christ and God with all their hearts and all their souls? Do they not both rejoice when sinners come running to the grace of the Cross? Do they not both weep for the lost souls in this world? As you can see, I could go on. My point is that it doesn't really matter whether or not we think God predestined all of this or merely foreknew it. Either way, in all things we seek to glorify Him, so I don't think He'll mind.
That post did lead me to learn some things about myself. I realized that all of my objections to Calvinism stem from something within me that I believe is ultimately good: the belief that, deep down, all men are good; no one is rotten to the core. Even in the darkest of hearts, there is the glimmer of the perfect Creation that we were all intended to be, and that many of us will be again. I do not want to see anyone that I've known in this life sent to Hell (whatever its nature may be). Truly, I'd like to see all of mankind resolved to God (even though I know that isn't going to happen), and I believe in a God who would like to see the same thing, who does not wish that any should perish but that all should be brought to Him.
I know this confidence in the goodness of humanity is something that a lot of Christians (and even many secularists) warn against. Not necessarily because they think it's totally wrong but because it often sets an individual up to be hurt when a person doesn't turn out to be as good as they hoped. But that's the kind of pain I'll gladly live with.
I hope those above two paragraphs didn't sound too proud. They're merely things I've come to notice about myself. Trust me, I notice a lot of things that I don't like so much, so it's nice to find something within you that you can know is good. One thing that I know is bad is my habit to start rambling, like I've done now. :-) Let me get back on track...
Like I said, I'll still hold to Arminianism, but I'm open to Calvinism and I don't believe that either are perfectly right or perfectly wrong. Whichever path you take shouldn't affect your path as a Christian, and that's the most important thing in my eyes. I'm grateful for the debate. It really did help me grow, even though I didn't really change my mind about anything. I didn't throw my hands in the air and give up like usual. I did, though, throw my hands in the air and praise God, for being a Creator that I know created me with a care that made the worlds.