John Calvin was a Protestant and the founder of Calvinism. He interpreted the “general calling”, the calling to be a Christian, as an invitation of faith to all. And he interpreted the “special calling”, the calling to a particular vocation, as only working in the hearts of the elect to bring them to faith. Calvin’s doctrine of predestination teaches God predestines some, the elect, to salvation and all the others to damnation. His logic behind predestination is to give all the credit to God, for nothing humans do can earn them salvation, so predestination is an explanation of God’s unearned and undeserving grace. During Calvin’s religious leadership in Geneva his goal was to make the city a monastery that would have been the best of the medieval times, a secluded community of Christians.
The doctrine of predestination does not settle well for most Lutherans, because we know that no one is destined to damnation so long they accept the Holy Spirit into their hearts and truly believe in Christ. For Martin Luther explained in Temporal Authority it is the responsibility of every individual to determine what is right and wrong to believe. Calvin’s understanding of vocation and his doctrine of predestination stress the importance that salvation cannot be earned. He saw predestination as the only way to fully credit God with our salvation, for there is absolutely nothing we as humans can do to earn salvation. Calvin’s teaches may have been sincere to credit God with our salvation however, he taught the kingdom of God was denied to some and no matter how earnestly they repented they could never have salvation because they were not elected. Today Christians must remember that everyone is chosen by God to have salvation and no one is denied salvation because by His grace we are saved. All we have to do is open our hearts to allow the Holy Spirit in and through the Holy Spirit we will live lives of service to our neighbors, which is serving God. Also, Calvin had the right idea when he wanted Christians to live in community with each other, because we need the community of fellow Christians to grown in our faith. But the Christian community should not be secluded as Calvin wanted it, because Christians would not be able to serve our non-Christian neighbors.
If John Calvin’s teaching were followed then organization like Bridging and the Salvation Army would not exist because the Christians who founded and operated the organizations would life isolated from the non-Christians they serve. They do not solely service non-Christians, but that’s why they were founded. When I volunteer at Salvation Army and Bridging I do not know if the clients I work with are Christian or not because there is no way I can tell with the little time of interaction I have with them. But it does not matter if they are Christian or not because I am there to serve them, to be hope, kindness and joy, to show them love just as God shows me.