If you ask 100 people here in America, I would suggest that at least 75% of them would say they are Christian.
There are 4 types of people who claim the title of Christian:
The liberal, the conservative, the orthodox (or Reformed) and the Ultra-Orthodox (or hyper Reformed). All of these groups have elect persons in them. Some are converted, some not. The converted individuals will eventually change their thoughts based on the Holy Spirit guiding into all truth and surely align with Gods word.
In regards to the liberal: This person’s theology is Arminian to the core. This person believes in a historic Jesus. His faith is based on ascentia alone. He knows of Christ. He actually understand that Christ died on the cross-he believes the sacrifice was for all of mankind-he openly rejects a limited atonement and the doctrine of election. He is synergisitic in his ordo. His actions speak louder than his words. He is pro-choice. He believes a woman has the right to decide. He believes that homosexuality is ok-‘people should mind their own businesses’. He believes Jesus says to love and discredits all the other passages condemning sin the bible that he dislikes or runs against his personal convictions and conscience. Sex outside of marriage is ok since God created sex and that since God created us, he knows our struggles-he will forgive sin and our weaknesses. He generally believes all people dying go to a better place; speaking of Hell makes him or her uncomfortable. I have seen many times that this type of confessor has a personal interest in the above subjects, i.e. he has a family member who is living an aberrant lifestyle or they themselves have had an abortion in the past. They generally don’t believe that Gods word is the breathed out word of God; it is just an example of sorts. They believe that everyone can have an interpretation of scripture. You have heard it said, “I think that means…..even though God’s word clearly says that scripture is NOT open to private interpretation. This person does not attend church, generally. They show up on the major holidays only. They are not members of a local congregation. They have no over sight and don’t believe they need any. They don’t see anything wrong with seers, fortunetellers, magic etc.
In regards to the Conservative: He believes much of the same as the liberal except he rejects Homosexuality, abortion and same sex marriage. Some conservatives allow for a blend of beliefs and they fall between the conservative and liberal.
In regards to the Orthodox: They stand solidly on the words of God. They believe that when they read the scriptures that it is actually God speaking. They use a majority view from the forefathers of the faith. They understand that there is safety in numbers and rally around the proverb that says, ‘In the counsel of many, there is safety’. They generally hold to a systematic theology, i.e. Calvinism. They embrace the 5 Sola’s and TULIP. They have a staunch view of the church. They are covenantal. They are confessional. They have a staunch view of the Regulative Principle. They have a staunch view of church polity. They understand God’s sovereignty and relax in it. They hold to a supralapsarianism or infralapsarianism when it comes to the fall of man.
In regards to the Ultra-orthodox: They hold to all of the above that the orthodox hold to except they take it to a dangerous step above; they are a bit overly dogmatic and many times, not to their benefit. They have redefined many doctrines of the scriptures and are guilty of legalism. They even assault the orthodox believers. Many times, their personality is caustic and most conversations become highly volatile. One wonders if discussions with these types of believers are profitable at all as these people are cutting everyone off at the knees that do not hold to their understanding of Gods word. They are not at all flexible and generally not open to learn or sacrifice what they believe. I will give you an example and I can understand this to a degree; If one embraces Arminianism in the slightest, you are deemed unsaved as well. John Wesley was an Arminian. I have serious problems with his theology and have a hard time believing that he is in glory based on the theological bent he held to. Dordt condemned Arminianism and as well all of the reformed; I have friends that cannot stomach my treatment of Wesley. I find it odd that they are reformed yet can’t understand my treatment. I in no way believe that these individuals lose their salvation based on their struggle with the Wesley issue. The Ultra-Orthodox, many times say, this person that embraces any sense of Arminianism is yet in darkness and God has not lifted the scales off the eyes of this person; I disagree with that, somewhat. Arminianism is heresy; What this man may believe about Wesley is error. Error does not damn, unless it is error that is heretical and that error would have to be at that person’s theological level, i.e. They reject the Doctrines of Grace and accept Arminianism based on a flawed theology. A man that understands the doctrines of grace yet, struggles with saying that all Arminians perish, is a different thing than holding to an Arminian theology. Additionally, most of the hypers or ultra-orthodox don’t hold to a common grace. They don’t believe in believers participating at all in their sanctification. They reject all ‘choice’. They don’t believe men choose anything that God is in heaven pulling all the strings and men are but puppets in the process of time.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the elect are from every tongue, tribe and nation. All of the above categories have elect people in them. They will eventually abandon error for truth; they will, eventually fall into the orthodox camp ultimately. That timeframe is in Gods economy.