I'm still sick of the question of Calvinism. But the following occurred to me. (This always happens).
Maybe this is no problem for Calvinism. But it seems to me that if Calvinism is true a number of bibilical promises which one would have thought could be appropriated by believers in a straighforward manner have suppressed election clauses in them. I mean God can't be issuing these promises to people he has reprobated, surely.
James 1 2:3
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
(if you are elect).
I Cor 10:13
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
(If you are elect).
Hebrews 13:5b, 6
"...I will never leave you, nor forsake you; therefore I can boldly say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man can do to me" (Hebrews 13:5b,6)
(Assuming, of course, that I am among the elect).
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Assuming, of course, that we are the among the elect).
The point is that these biblical letter-writers presumably issued these promises to church members in general, some of whom left the fold subsequently and died pagans. I would be curious to see what a Calvinist pastoral theology looks like in response to this.