LEIGHTON FLOWERS ON STRUGGLING WITH SIN AS A CALVINIST


Leighton Flowers’ testimony of when he struggled with sin.

93:15 This was part of my testimony as a young Calvinist where was dealing with some addictive behaviors in my own life. And and so my conclusion was first to start doubting whether I was elect, because I would begin to wonder whether God would elect somebody and then have had these desires and these lusts, those thoughts and things? And so I first started doubting whether I was elect or not.

And then once I was told that if you have any desire to follow God, then it must come from God. You must be alive, you must be reborn, you must be regenerated if you had that desire. So I go okay, well then that must mean I’m elect.
And so then therefore I would go, okay am I struggling with this this lust or this issue or this addiction? And then the only answer I can come up with at least if I’m consistent within the logic of my Calvinism is well, because God decreed for me to have these desires. This lust is from the decree of God. That’s ultimately the cause of it. And therefore my only recourse really is to say, “God please remove this lust”.

And I even had people around me saying well, that’s the thorn in the flesh, that lust that you had, that’s the thorn of the flesh. And God gives it to you to keep you humble. And so I had really fallen into this addiction and really begin to think, okay, God has decreed for me to have this lustful addiction and and I can’t stop doing this. Seemingly I keep promising God I’m not gonna do this anymore, I’m not gonna fall into this addiction anymore, I’m not gonna do this anymore.

Then I’ve continually would. And then I, well, I must be what God decreed. And let me just say there’s nothing worse for the the healing of an addict than the than the idea that God has sovereignly decreed for you to desire to do something for His own glory.

Nonetheless, until you own that it’s your own choice your own determination, in other words God has – as 1st Corinthians 10:13 says – given you a way out, He has given you all that you need to resist the temptation. And you have to own, “I messed up, I looked at that pornography when I shouldn’t have, I clicked on that link” and it that was my libertarianly free choice. That was not a sovereign decree of God that I could not control. Until you own your actions and your behaviors and through your choices, you can’t begin to find true freedom.

At least that’s my testimony. Now, I’m not trying to put that onto every Calvinist. Sometimes Calvinists may not make the link that I made. I’m just simply giving you a testimony of one Calvinist, young Calvinists, when I was in my 20s who struggle with this.

And when I’ve given testimony on this on my broadcast there, Soteriology 101, I’ve had dozens of young twenty-year-old guys just emailing me and said “I’ve been struggling with this sex acts and things”. Many of which are coming from the same background, because they’re they’re falling into a more fatalistic mindset of saying “Well, I guess God decreed for me to have these sinful desires and thoughts”. And that is devastating to recovery.

Just like in the Alcoholics Anonymous, you know the first step is what? You have to own your sin, you have to say, you know, “My name is Leighton Flowers and I’m whatever it is”. And you’ve got to own it. And that’s true of any sin, you’ve got to own it. And the only way practically speaking that you can own it, I believe, is to affirm a libertarian freedom of the will. That you are responsible for your decisions, and that you self determine. You are the determiner of your determinations, and that’s only practical way to live theologically in a healthy environment.

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