The Doctrines of Grace: Unconditional Election

I became a Christian in my late teens and had not been brought up in the faith.  I came cold to all things Christian and was dependent upon my youth pastor and pastor and bible study leader to guide me in things.  Quite early on I heard about these terrible people called Calvinists who taught terrible doctrines like ‘born to burn’ and ‘once saved always saved.’  That they believed in an arbitrary God who was sitting in heaven with a flower pulling out petals saying, ‘elect, reprobate, elect, reprobate.’  I was told about this terrible teaching that would stifle all evangelism and prayer, a doctrine that would breed arrogance because I was one of His favourites; that would breed uncertainty because I would have to have to agonize over whether I was one of God’s elect; that this teaching would result in an antinomian life because I would be complacent because I could never lose my salvation.  I didn’t know any better and trusted those who taught me trusting that they knew this Calvinistic teaching intimately and were not presenting straw men to bias my ignorant mind.  I accepted this teaching and went on trying to grow as a Christian.  It was then that I was confronted with certain verses in the bible which taught election and predestination.  And I was shocked that the bible said these things and looked for a way to understand them.  I thought I was the first person who had seen it clearly when I read Romans 8:29 and came up with this interpretation.  Here is the basic break down of the typical view.