As a former Calvinist, I can tell you what I thought about these things at the time but I'm not sure whether all Calvinists believe(d) this way. Others might have a different perspective. What I believed (and what was taught during sermons) was that every human being deserves hell but god was so incredibly generous as to just save a few. I was taught that the Jewish people (in the old testament) were a symbol of the elect who were to come; that god can choose whoever he wants to save and it's not for us to question because he's, well, you know, god. He could have picked any nation to make a people for himself but he chose Israel because he wanted to. To answer your question, only the "real" elect will actually believe Calvinist doctrine. Those who aren't elect will believe something else and won't think they're going to hell. My church taught that every other denomination and religion were going to hell. I want to stress that the Calvinists in my church felt like complete shit because this particular denomination teaches that there isn't one good thing human beings can do, that it's straight evil all the time.They treat their children harshly as well, as they believe that they're evil and that god commands harsh punishment. Looking back, I have a feeling that the preacher was completely full of himself and didn't think he was complete shit at all. Others in the congregation were completely brainwashed, the same as me. The Calvinists who might respond to this thread will most likely be completely brainwashed as well and believe their god is utterly holy and beyond reproach. They most likely believe that anything good they accomplish, no matter how small, is the work of the holy spirit. The denomination is one of the worst, imo. Their minds are enslaved. This in itself wouldn't bother me so much but it's the fact that their doctrines are so hard on children that upsets me. Xtianity is not a harmless religion.
Total Depravity is the worst doctrine. I left just about every sermon feeling beaten up & like shit....after all, I was inherently evil, sinful & incapable of being "good".
When I really did & was good, gawd got the credit, but of course all of my sins & downfalls were MY fault. Yes, it is a religion that really beats people up.
and my experience was like yours in that the same thing was taught...if a person believes calvinism, that is how it proves they are saved=elect. If they were those -other- brands of xianity...well, god's folks might be out there
amongst them, but they are certainly deceived & no evidence of being "elect".
I also hated how, at least in the calvinist cult I left, that doctrine was stressed more than anything. It wasn't even about good works, as "believing" was taught to be a "good work"...so the whole system was predicated on believing the truthtm
and of course only pastard's brand of xiantiy was really preaching the truthtm
. The doctrine & teachings were way more about the religious peculiarities of Paul....NOT about the good social teachings of jesus.
It became too exhausting & oppressive over time. You could see it on the faces of the people in the cult church...they were sour, dour, looking down their noses at others...after all, when you feel like a "worm"
it might make you feel better by putting others down, which is the example the pastard used very often. Naturally it was emulated by the flock to behave in the ways the pastard did. UGH
so glad to out of there......
You are right, that religion is NOT harmless...I feel bad for the kids still in it. Many have no personality, they are timid, scared...or angry. My kids were crucial in my escaping. I started freaking out when my daughter began asking about being "baptised"
& I thought....oh NO! not that! I did NOT want her to be in the prison of a religion that we had been sucked into...then I had to ask myself if I didn't want my kids in it...why was I still in it??
Integrity can be a rough road...
That was the slippery slope...the hard questions. Bottom line, I could not see my kids enduring the abuse that we did, no way!! and I don't understand how I allowed myself to get abused...but I drew the line when it came
to my kids.