Unconditional Election (Conclusion)

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It is written:

“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

Calvinism suffers from many contradictions. This is seen especially in its teaching regarding unconditional election.

On the one hand, Calvinists adamantly maintain that God is not evil, and that He is not responsible for moral evil.

On the other hand, Calvinists will then claim that God is responsible for predestining every morally evil act in the universe. Calvinists are clear about this, following the teaching of their leader, John Calvin:

“He realizes that even the Devil and wicked men, regardless of whatever tumults they may cause, are not only restrained of God but are compelled to do His pleasure.” (Lorraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination, 6345 (Kindle Edition)

Calvin himself illustrates his belief in God’s role of moral wickedness:

“Let us imagine, for example, a merchant who, entering a wood with a company of faithful men, unwisely wanders away from his companions and in his wandering comes upon a robber’s den, falls among thieves, and is slain. His death was NOT ONLY FORESEEN by God’s eye, but ALSO DETERMINED BY HIS DECREE. For it is not said that he foresaw how long the life of each man would extend, but that he determined and fixed the bounds which men cannot pass…. Yet, as far as the capacity of our mind is concerned, all things therein seem fortuitous [accidental]. What will a Christian think at this point? Just this: whatever happened in a death of this sort he will regard as fortuitous by nature, as it is; yet he will not doubt that God’s providence exercised authority over fortune in directing its end.” (John Calvin, Institutes 1.16.9, Kindle Edition, emphasis added, M.T.).

Now, we have seen from Scripture numerous times in our studies that God is perfectly morally good and upright, and is not the Author of moral evil. The Calvinist, on the other hand, turns God into almost the most wicked character imaginable. With their doctrine of unconditional election, Calvinists demean and distort the God Who reveals Himself in creation and Scripture. Our Calvinist neighbors unintentionally do this because of their misconception of the sovereignty and omnipotence of God.

One author has written:

“At its most unfortunate, this exaggerated adoration of God’s sheer omnipotence can yield conclusions as foolish as Calvin’s assertion, in Book III of the Institutes, that God predestined the fall of man so as to show forth his greatness in both the salvation and the damnation of those he has eternally preordained to their several fates. Were this so, God would be the author of and so entirely beyond both good and evil, or at once both and neither, or indeed merely evil (which power without justice always is). The curious absurdity of all such doctrines is that, out of a pious anxiety to defend God’s transcendence against any scintilla of genuine creaturely freedom, they threaten effectively to collapse that transcendence into absolute identity-with the world, with us, with the devil….For if indeed there were a God whose true nature-whose justice or sovereignty-were revealed in the death of a child or the dereliction of a soul or a predestined hell, then it would be no great transgression to think of him as a kind of malevolent or contemptible demiurge, and to hate him, and to deny him worship, and to seek a better God than he. But Christ has overthrown all those principalities that rule without justice and in defiance of charity, and has cast out the god of this world; and so we are free (even now, in this mortal body) from slavery to arbitrary power, from fear of hell’s dominion, and from any superstitious subservience to fate. And this is the holy liberty-the gospel-that lies hidden but active in the depths of Ivan’s rebellion.” (David Bentley Hart, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? 756-771 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)

Another author has powerfully written:

“In short, the Calvinist account of God’s sovereignty given earlier in this chapter inevitably makes God the author of sin, evil, and innocent suffering (such as the children of the Holocaust) and thereby impugns the integrity of God’s character as good and loving. The God of this Calvinism (as opposed to, say, revisionist Reformed theology) is at best morally ambiguous and at worst a moral monster hardly distinguishable from the devil. Remember, according to this account of God’s sovereignty and providence, even the devil is only doing the works given him to do by God. They, too, like everything else, have been foreordained, planned, willed by God, and rendered certain by God for his glory. I can only agree wholeheartedly with evangelical philosopher Jerry Walls who says, “The Calvinist must sacrifice a clear notion of God’s goodness for the sake of maintaining his view of God’s sovereign decrees….“Let me be perfectly clear that whatever objections Sproul and others may raise, the Calvinist account of God’s sovereignty is divine determinism. No amount of caviling can get around it. To affirm that everything that happens, down to the minutest details including even God’s own thoughts and actions, are determined is by definition to affirm determinism…“Many, perhaps most, critics of Calvinism register extreme dismay at its divine determinism. There are many reasons, but the first and foremost one is that it renders God morally impure if not repugnant. One day, at the end of a class session on Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sovereignty, a student asked me a question I had put off considering. He asked: “If it was revealed to you in a way you couldn’t question or deny that the true God actually is as Calvinism says and rules as Calvinism affirms, would you still worship him?” I knew the only possible answer without a moment’s thought, even though I knew it would shock many people. I said no, that I would not because I could not. Such a God would be a moral monster. Of course, I realize Calvinists do not think their view of God’s sovereignty makes him a moral monster, but I can only conclude they have not thought it through to its logical conclusion or even taken sufficiently seriously the things they say about God and evil and innocent suffering in the world.” (Roger E. Olson, Against Calvinism: Rescuing God’s Reputation from Radical Reformed Theology, 1480-1511 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

Calvinism’s doctrines (especially those of unconditional election) are not only unbiblical, but they make God out to be the cosmic sadist. Christians need to reject the folly of the unbiblical and ungodly TULIP system.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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