Approximately 1 out of every 4 Christians will encounter adult onset Calvinism (commonly known as AOC) during their life, either personally or in someone close to them. It can be a scary thing to encounter, especially if you’re not familiar with the symptoms. The person you once knew and loved is suddenly a completely different person.
It gets better.
To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.
- A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.
- A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.
- A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.
- A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.
- A growing level of arrogance that is directly inverse to the number of blog posts you write about humility.
- Constant cravings for cigars and microbrews, even though they make you incredibly sick.
- Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.
- Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.
- Being so smug you begin to panic that you won’t be able to adequately manifest all the smugness.
- An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.
- The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.
- Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.
Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.
Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.
If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, go to a pastor IMMEDIATELY. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because you were predestined to be a Calvinist, but still, you should probably see a pastor.
But don’t worry. After 5-6 years, these symptoms will subside and you or your loved one will return to being a mostly normal person.
NOTE: This post was crowdsourced between me, Zach, Ted, and Barnabas.