Calvinism, or reformed Christianity, is somewhat popular and in my opinion, is a false doctrine. Does that mean that all Calvinists are going to Hell or that they cannot still be Christians, NO? Am I trying to create division within Christianity during these perilous times when Christian apostasy is occurring on a large-scale, NO? However, I do think extreme Calvinism makes God the author of evil, negates the idea of free will, and is ultimately a wrong interpretation of scripture that can lead many astray.
Based upon the five points of Calvinism summarized by the acronym:
T – Total Depravity
U – Unconditional Election
L – Limited Atonement
I – Irresistible Grace
P – Perseverance of the Saints
Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement stand out as being utterly wrong.
Calvinists who believe in unconditional election think that election and predestination are unconditional. In other words, humans have no say in this.
Does that even make sense? How can a loving God predestine people to Heaven or Hell before they are even born and REGARDLESS of what they do in their lives?
What if God predestined you to Hell and you wanted to become a Christian? What if God predestined you to Heaven and you wanted nothing to do with God?
How can God elect someone if they don’t want to be elected? Is He forcing them into Heaven? Doesn’t someone who is chosen by God need to also choose to follow God?
How is this loving and does this not negate our free will?
Calvinist backers include verses about predestination to support this idea when in fact, they seem to be skewing the scriptures.
The more likely and logical stance is that God elects us (maybe at His perfect time…there is an aspect of predestination) BASED UPON His foreknowledge that we will accept Him and want to follow Him. He still elects as He is God, but it is also a conditional election based upon our independent actions (i.e., free will). When He elects us, He knows that we will be glad to accept the election invitation.
Scripture supports this idea:
1 Peter 1:2 New International Version
“…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.”
Calvinists who believe in limited atonement believe Jesus Christ only died for the unconditionally elected. We already explained why unconditional election doesn’t make sense, but this also doesn’t make sense because the scriptures specifically state:
2 Peter 3:9 New International Version
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
1 Timothy 2:4 New International Version
“who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Why would God want to send anyone to Hell for eternity if He infinitely loves them? He doesn’t. They ultimately choose Hell over Him and Heaven. It’s their choice, not His. Therefore, why would He predestine people to Hell? This type of God would be the biggest psychopathic monster in the world and worse than the Devil himself. This sounds more like the fictional God of radical Islam.
Outside of the teachings of TULIP, some Calvinists believe in theistic determinism or that God determines everything in advance for His glory.
Though God knows what will happen in the future therefore it must happen, we are responsible for our actions and freely make choices. Sure God can and does intervene to accomplish His will and likely overrides our free will at times, but we do have free will otherwise love wouldn’t be possible and we would be puppets for our puppet master; evil robots created by a God that, in reality, lacks evil.
Also, does God ordain babies to be beheaded by Hamas terrorists for His glory? This description of God is a barbaric one to say the least.
There are many different types of Calvinists but these are just a few examples of why extreme Calvinists are almost certainly incorrect. As some pastors point out, the Bible teaches both predestination and free will. God’s will must be accomplished but God also gave us the ability to make choices and doesn’t ordain all of the evil we see in this world.