I have spent a great deal of my adult life studying theology. I take my faith seriously and read, study and watch debates on a regular basis. In all of my study, there s one form of Christian theology that is repugnant to me. The system is called Calvinism.
Calvinism hurts my heart. The thought that God could possibly predestine some to heaven and others to hell, goes against my human understanding of love and how I see and interpret how God interacts with me. It is absolutely not fair for God to take only some to heaven (especially if man has no vote in the decision). God having the power to override my freewill for His purposes certainly doesn’t ring true in my observation of the world. I make free choices all the time. I remember making the verbal profession of Jesus 15 years ago. I made that profession, I certainly did feel any spiritual tugging to say the prayer and enter the kingdom of God. Furthermore some decision are inconsequential to God. Why would He spend time predestining little things? Why would God predestine what type of toilet paper I use; why does he care? Philosophically speaking, it makes far more sense that God and man work together in the compilation of God’s plan to provide a path to salvation that is open to everyone. This universal call to salvation is simply more fair. That’s the type of God I want to worship! I like a God that looks a lot like me.
Here’s the problem I have. The bible doesn’t teach anything I spoke of above. There is no freewill in the bible. There is not synergy for salvation between God and man. My desire to tailor make God into something that makes me feel better about Him is not of consequence in God’s economy. The Bible teaches something very different than what I described above. It teaches a different God because my sinful flesh is not equipt to see and follow the true God apart from the Holy Spirit and spiritual obedience to His word. The bible, not I says:
God – Foreknows – He has perfect foreknowledge of who we are . Foreknowing is active not passive. God is active in developing us into who we are
God – Calls – Call supernaturally calls us to Himself. If we have been called we are one of His sheep and we hear His voice
God – Justifies – God not man makes us right with the Father. Jesus justifies us, we don’t justify ourselves through some profession of faith
God – Sanctifies – God is active in conforming us into the image of His son. We do not sanctify ourselves
God – Glorifies – God raises us on the last day to glory in Christ.
The bible teaches that God perfectly atoned from the sins of man on the cross. It does not teach that Jesus provided a path to salvation on th cross but saved no on on the cross. (Isaiah 53:5)
God say the NO ONE can come to Jesus unless they are drawn by the father. Jesus loses NONE of them but raises them up on the last day. (John 6:44)
God says he creates from people for holy purposes and others for destruction so that God’s glory can be seen in both good and EVIL (Romans 9:21)
God says that what Joseph’s family intended for evil, God intended for good. (Genesis 50:20)
God says that His creation of man was “very good”; uttering these words with full knowledge our fall.(Genesis 1:31)
GOD’S CROSS IS NOT A CONTINGENCY PLAN! If God is not sovereign, then the most pivotal moment in history is in fact a back up plan that God had to throw together after we disobeyed Him in the garden. Am I to seriously believe that Paul could have rejected Jesus on the road to Damascus? (Acts 9) Am I to believe that David could have said “Sorry, I’m not fighting no giants today”? (1 Samuel 17) Was it up to Moses when he lead the Israelites out of the promise land? (Exodus 3:3) Did God not predestine Moses’ life through an evil act of killing in Egypt? (Exodus 2:12) Did Nebakanezer have the ability to say, “I’m not going to be eating grass in the field today”? (Denial 4:33) Did Lazarus have the ability to tell Jesus he’s good with being dead and doesn’t want to come back to life? (John 11) How dare God get in the way of Johan’s freewill by swallowing him with a giant fish! (Jonah 1:17) Am I believe believe the the valley of the dry bones could resurrect themselves? (Ezekiel 37). Does the Bible teach that Pharaoh harden his own heart or did God do the hardening? (Romans 9) Simply put the God of the Bible is not the God I want or feel comfortable with. The God of the Bible is who He is and just because I feel I could do better than He can with the world doesn’t mean that my idea of a perfect God is the true, one and only God of the universe. My flesh is strong but God is stronger.
I hate Calvinism! Calvinism goes against every bit of belief and tradition I have regarding the nature of man and the nature of who God is. I hate Calvinism, not because it isn’t true but because if I were God I’d do it differently. I would let every good person into the kingdom. I would let man decide their future. I would make very one prosperous, rich, healthy, and wise. I would be much more tolerant than He is for certain. The problem is, I don’t have the right to be the judge of God’s word. As a Christian, it is my job to be obedient to the word and that word tells me that God is sovereign and in control and man is – well – not. So I am a Calvinist and I my flesh grieves that I am (but God rejoices).
Arminians tell us that Calvinism turns man into a robot by predestining every move we make. Okay, so what? Arminianism turns God into an algorithm by stating that If man acts, THEN God can save. We are no further in determining the truth of God unless we look at His holy word.