Thank you for this excursus. I am excited to hear about your work in Asia, and wish you much success in serving “the least of these.” Arminian or Calvinist, those who roll up their sleeves to serve the poor are closest to God’s own heart. As David says, “Blessed is the one who considers the poor.”
I share many of your concerns regarding the potential ill effects of Calvinism. Much of this can be characterized as hyper Calvinism (I sometimes refer to “high[per] Calvinism,” meaning anyone, whether “high” or “hyper” in his views, who over-emphasizes certain logical implications at the expense of other matters clearly revealed in Scripture).
This is part of the reason I have embraced Moderate Calvnism, and devoted myself to deterring and opposing any form of Calvinism which:
-denies or downplays human responsibility
-calls God the author or direct cause of evil
-uses God’s sovereignty as an excuse for sin
-hinders evangelism/missions on the basis of election or other theological considerations
-leads to apathy in service and devotion
-elevates human logic above the revealed will of God
In my view, Calvinism “done right” will actually result in the opposite effects, and to a greater extent than any non-Calvinist philosophy will. That is my conviction, and part of the reason I am a Moderate/Paradoxical Calvinist.
To be honest, I would rather serve alongside a consecrated, moderate, and fair-minded Arminian who is growing in godliness than a cold high(per) Calvinist who is complacent and arrogant. A friend of mine, who is actually a Calvinist pastor in an A/G Church (working right alongside a non-Calvinist pastor for many years), stands with me in this conviction and refuses to make Calvinism/Arminianism a stumbling block to serving God faithfully as Christian brothers in this needy world.