If you’ve had the privilege of being in some Calvinist/Reformed groups, you might have noticed a odd fascination with being Reformed. Wanting to be Reformed is all fine and dandy but we run into a few problems when it becomes a trend instead of a deep commitment to the word of God. To be Reformed is to be confessional, a confession isn’t meant to tell you what to think, but rather how to think. Many people see confessions as limiting their free-thinking potential, but that’s like thinking that having a GPS would ruin your navigation ability.
Reformed Theology has gained popularity over the years and like everything that gets suddenly popular, there are many band-wagoners. People who jump on the Calvin train with a mason jar full of alcohol in one hand and a cigar in the other on their way to get ‘semper reformanda” tattooed on them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cool with all of those things, but all of that is not what Reformed theology is about. The reason you might see Reformed Christians doing these types of things is because of our understanding of Christian liberty. Just like Reformed Christians tend to love books and read them more than your average Christian might (I’m speaking from experience), this doesn’t mean Reformed folk are better readers, but rather that Reformed theology requires study and a person to be dedicated enough to do the studying.
I’m not in the Reformed camp to be cool, If I wanted to be cool, I’d be some edgy nihilist who unironically likes Rob Bell, I’m sure every cafeteria christian would love me. No, I’m Reformed because I’m convinced by sacred scripture.
But we have brothers and sisters who take this Reformed label too far. You see, you aren’t really reformed unless you believe in exclusive psalmody or establishmentarism. The nuances and esoteric doctrines held by the Reformers themselves are not that big of a concern to me and I don’t think they should be made a litmus test for who is Reformed and who is not.
Time and time again, I will see posts “John Piper is not Reformed.” “Timothy Keller is not Reformed.” the question I have is, Does it really matter? Unless the question was “Is X Reformed?” Why does your 10 minute rant on a brother not agreeing with you about certain pet doctrines matter?
Being Reformed is not enough, being Reformed is not everything. The obsession over who is Reformed as if being Reformed was the prestigious plastic’s table in Mean girls is too much.