I always thought he was. Still think so. And I’ve always been aware of the following passage:
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
So I ask you. Are calvinists obligated to believe that when Paul wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” that he really meant, “Now those of you who are truly regenerate are the body of Christ and individually members of it, but the rest of you aren’t because being baptized provides no assurance that you belong to the body of Christ.”?
If so, what is the practical difference between such a belief and just stating outright “Calvinists are the ones who know better than to believe the Bible.”?
I have to admit I’m completely lost about all this. Back when I became a calvinist it was because the calvinists were the only ones who took the Bible seriously. The calvinists were not the ones writing books on submission to human tradition as a safety procedure for avoiding errors to which the Bible allegedly leaves a reader vulnerable. We were not known for constantly coming up with really lame arguments to show how a bunch of passages don’t have any real weight for doing theology.
That kind of cowardice is brand new to me. How about you? When did the Reformed Churches become Cities of Refuge from Offending Scriptures? When did the calvinist mind shut down?
As for me and my house, we will always believe that Paul was an orthodox calvinist. And we will not live in fear.