i am predestined to not believe in calvinism, part three

Posted: June 25, 2010 in Christianity, Theology
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ok, this is my final post about what I feel are the problems with the Christian doctrine of Calvinism. If you haven’t read parts one or two, please read those first. I hope this has encouraged free will advocates that your position is not only scripturally sound but rational as well. I also hope that I have challenged any Calvinists out there to reconsider the practicality and logical consequences of some of their concepts and to ask themselves how their belief reflects on God’s character.

One more point then we’ll end this thing…

5) Calvinism is ineffective for evangelism. I think its funny that Calvinists are part of the “evangelical” sect of the Christian faith. If God chooses who gets saved without any input from humans, why fight against His will by evangelizing? Do they lead unbelievers in a prayer and hope that God makes it “take” if He has already pre-determined that they should be saved?  Of course, those of us who believe in free will see that the saving work of God must be performed by Jesus, preached by Christians, and accepted by sinners. Everyone has their role. In the Calvinist system, in order to give God glory, no one but God can do anything in the salvation process. So Jesus provided the redemptive work, He calls those whom He wants, and He forces sinners to repent. So why is there so much in the Bible about sharing the Good News with the lost? Romans 10:14-17 (which oddly enough comes right after Romans 9 🙂 ) very clearly says that the Gospel must be heard and mixed with the faith of the individual to take effect. Of course the Calvinist says that our faith comes from God. Yes it does. He is the giver of our faith but He doesn’t exercise it for us. Think about it – if God exercises our faith for us, why did Jesus reprimand the disciples and say, “Oh, you of little faith” 4 times in the book of Matthew? He should’ve been scolding Himself! We must exercise our God-given faith ourselves. So here is my question – if the Calvinist construct is true and God carries out every detail of the salvation process, why are we commanded to spread the good news of redemption through Jesus? I actually saw where someone answered that question by saying that we should share the gospel out of sheer obedience because God tells us to, not because it does anything. How ridiculous! Calvinism turns evangelism from a love-based action of mercy where we get the pleasure of partnering in God’s will, into a meaningless “test” by an unreasonable god. Revelation 3:20 is so simple. He is knocking. You must hear His voice and open.

Ok, to end this thing, I want to pose two questions to Calvinists that specifically concern the doctrine of election, and see if they can answer them. No one has answered them so far but please feel free to give it a shot.

1) What is the criteria by which God chooses to save (elect) one human and not save another? Don’t give me the “mysterious ways”  or “because of who He is” stuff either. I can’t find how God chooses His people in the Bible yet I’m told this doctrine is “Biblical.” If He’s going to purposefully send millions of those He created to Hell, couldn’t He at least hint as to the mechanism by which He selects those whom He spares?

2) Why is it that God seems to “elect” Christians based on geography? Take a look at this map (click to enlarge):

There are so few Asians, North Africans, and Middle Eastern Christians. If God is the one who decides who believes, not man’s faith in response to God’s corporate election, why isn’t there a more equitable distribution of the elect worldwide? See the glaring problem? Either God is not distributing His elections randomly (randomness would yield a more even distribution of Christians worldwide) or He is using some sort of election criteria which I asked about in question #1. Has God forgotten about that part of the world? By this map, God sure does like white people and Hispanics. Doesn’t seem very fair to me – possibly even racist. Wouldn’t it make more sense that He doesn’t elect salvation but that cultural, religious, and political barriers to the Gospel in these geographies are making people unable to respond to His corporate election?

I really struggled about posting this series on Calvinism. I don’t want to be in strife and I pray that this whole endeavor was motivated by and fueled by love. I had a friend once tell me that heaven will have two entrance doors – one labeled “Chose God” and one labeled “Chosen by God” and we’ll all end up in the same place. I admit that I could be wrong about this. But of course if I am wrong then God predestined it and it shouldn’t bother you. 🙂

Peace.

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Comments
  1. Fisher says:

    Part five of my response is up:
    http://epagonizesthai.blogspot.com/2010/07/clarifying-reformed-theology-part-5.html

    Also, check out this recent sermon by John Macarthur to see if you get anything out of it:
    [audio src="http://webmedia.gty.org/sermons/Low/90-399.mp3" /]

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