Countywide Women’s Bible Study learning about Calvinism and Arminianism

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By Stan Counsell | Special to The PREVIEW

The Countywide Women’s Bible Study is progressing with a new topic that has often been seen as controversial, convoluted or misunderstood. But, as typical, the women’s study will simplify and present it fairly without malice. 

Although some understand this topic, many might not or have a vague understanding of it. And, without clarity, confusion can give birth to unwarranted friction within the body of Christ, even “pious” hostility. Just what are these two theologies? Where did they originate? Can they be easily understood? 

This topic has already gathered, with great interest, the ears of the attending ladies. Pleasing education, made easy to understand, bounces off the walls as they learn truth from fiction, understanding from suspicions. Tragically, even well-meaning convictions, for one or the other theology, can be poorly articulated from the pulpit. Angst can sprout in the hearts of many hearers that can tarnish, to a degree, their service to the Lord. Why has something so simple become annoyingly convoluted? 

With prayers and unending research, the study’s facilitator has felt directed to, with complete fairness, present this issue that inhibits some, but certainly not all, churches. This discussion has already been quite innovated, open and joyfully guided. It will last for a series of Tuesdays. All interested ladies are openly invited to visit this happy family of Christian believers. Your background is of no importance: Baptist, Charismatic, Protestant, Pentecostal or nondenominational. Even the spiritually curious are most welcomed. 

John Calvin (1509-1564) was a former Roman Catholic who became a well-known reformer during the Protestant Reformation. He was a highly educated French theologian whose service to God was tirelessly extensive as a university professor, pastor, author and speaker. Staunch in his beliefs, many called him an unbridled polemicist, causing continual controversies with those whom he differed. His theology, known by many as “Calvinism,” was strongly articulated in such topics as the sovereignty of God, depravity of mankind, limited atonement and predestination.

Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609), an early Calvinist, was a well-educated Dutch theologian, university professor, pastor and author who showed his intense mercy for others by rendering much-needed medical assistance during a deadly plague that swept Amsterdam. Although mild in temperament, he stirred contention by openly refuting Calvin’s predestination beliefs. His objection to noted Calvinist beliefs later became known as “Arminianism.” 

So, just what is Calvinism? What is Arminianism? Why all the conflict then and seen today? A outwardly “mind-bending” topic will become easy to understand with the love of Jesus. 

Roberta (‘Bert) Counsell is an ordained women’s pastor, skilled Bible teacher, worship composer and former chaplain with the American Red Cross, U.S. Border Patrol and AIDS hospice/sexual addiction ministries over a span of 35 years. She knows that all need Jesus Christ’s love, forgiveness and salvation. She is known for her humor and simplicity, a non-lecturing guide of the Lord’s Word. She loves a casual atmosphere with continual laughing feedback from the ladies. She has been an active pastoral team with her husband of 37 years.

The difficult is easily addressed each Tuesday morning from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at CrossRoad Christian Fellowship in the spacious confines of its fellowship hall. The address is 1044 Park Ave., right across the street from the Recreation Center. For more information or questions, please call Counsell at (970) 264-9931. She’ll be happy to take your call. Remember to bring your Bible, laugh and join in the feedback.