Monday, October 04, 2010

A Problem With Calvinism: "Unconditional Election"

I'm in a discussion with a [now] former Catholic that has embraced Calvinism. While the two of us remain civil and friendly towards each other, I've decided to counsel him. Below is the most recent message I sent to him:

If God predestines souls to Him (i.e. Unconditional Election), then he predestines the rest to damnation. Is this the God you truly believe in? That he would intentionally create souls only for them to be damned?

How does that reconcile with:

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, WHO WANTS ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to a knowledge of the truth." - 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV, emphasis added)

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, NOT WANTING ANYONE TO PERISH, but EVERYONE to come to repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV, emphasis added)

"Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'" - Ezekiel 33:11

While it's true that not everyone will be saved, the choice is still ours: the offer has been made to each and every single one of us:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into THE WORLD to condemn the world, but to save THE WORLD through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." - John 3:16-18

Two things:

1.) There are believers (who will be saved);
2.) There are non-believers (who will not be saved)

"Believes" is a verb, a doing word/an action. To believe means to make a choice; to not believe is another choice. Choices are made based on free will, a gift that God has given to each of us freely:

"He then brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.'" - Acts 16:30-31

"But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:33

"Therefore gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.' And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile." - 1 Peter 1:13-17

Each of us are made in the image and likeness of God, and if God then predestines souls to Hell in as much He predestines others to be saved, then that is to say that God passes on a fallen nature to these creations. If His creations are reprobates, then are they really made in His image and likeness? Could a perfect creator still be a "perfect creator" if what he creates is imperfect? Wouldn't this creator then be an imperfect creator?

Now, concerning judgement and again on the topic of unconditional election...

What function or purpose does judgement serve at all if God has already predestined souls to Heaven and the rest to damnation? Calvinism seems to make judgement (i.e. the last things) completely redundant here.

Unconditional Election appears to advocate a form of spiritual anarchy: whether you're part of "the elect" or a reprobate, what does it really matter then what you do in life? If you are part of "the elect" then you've got nothing to worry about, and if you're a reprobate then you have EVERYTHING to worry about and there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about it!

You need to ask yourself then this question: are you part of "the elect" and how do you know?

I'll keep you all updated.

God bless.

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You can learn more about some of the other problems with Calvinism by following these links:

Total Depravity of Man -

A Tiptoe Through the TULIP


  1. Are you aware that the greatest church father, dubbed as the "Doctor of Grace" by both Catholics and Protestants alike, also taught the same doctrine of predestination that is held among Reformed protestants today?

    Yes, I'm talking about St. Augustine, and I've got new for you: He himself faced the same objections that you are throwing on the table against Calvinism on that post, and had refuted them hundreds of years ago.

    I'm not making this up. I can prove that (I'm an Augustinian evangelical, btw).

    1. Yes, I'm aware of that, but I'm also aware that St. Augustine's teachings weren't infallible despite giving vast insight into the Catholic faith.

      The Catholic Church has not made a dogmatic statement on the matter of predestination. In his writings on predestination, St. Augustine gave his private opinions and not the catholic consensus of the church. It is noteworthy that St. Augustine is nearly alone in affirming absolute predestination. His contemporaries and those who followed him did not follow such a rigid system but allowed the freedom of the will.

      St. Augustine was ostensibly Catholic.


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