Interesting calvinistic contradictions and paradoxes

CALVINISM and its contradictions and paradoxes

If you engage yourself in discussions with calvinists you must be prepared for that they will contradict themselves and express themselves with lots of ”theological fog” and paradoxes. It’s like they believe many fancy words will cover up for their contradictory claims and poor doctrines, and there are sadly listeners out there who are not able to look through their smoke screens but instead swallow what they have to say. But there is no way that they can ever solve the many problems that are hidden in the TULIP, and they are not able to clear the name of their God who they make to be the author of sin – which is the only logical conclusion of their doctrines. Here they might protest and tell you they do NOT make God the author of sin! But don’t they believe that nothing happens against the will of God? Don’t they believe that man must act according to whatever nature he was created with? Don’t they believe man certainly cannot be totally depraved against God’s will? They must respond in the affirmative to all those questions in order to be consistent with their own doctrines, and that means their God IS the author of sin after all. They believe God predestines man to sin, at the same time as man is responsible for his own sins and for some reason should have acted otherwise – despite that he was forced by God to act the way he did. The same man will also be punished and sent to hell – for committing the sin that God caused him to do. (With other words – people who do the will of God will be sent to hell for doing the will of God). Anyway, below is a list of some contradictions that I stole from my friend William Hughes. I saved the best ones to make the list shorter 🙂

Reformed contradiction #3

From an email on facebook I received:

Calvinist: ”any time you say Calvinism is not true I will rebuke you extremely severely in the name of Jesus Christ! Calvinism is the gospel, you heretic! I read your stupid post even though you are not on my friends list.”

Me: ”I am unable to believe in Calvinism because God has decided I don’t believe it. Why are you getting mad at me? I cannot help it.”

Calvinist: ”you are blinded by the devil. Do not blame God for your inability to believe the gospel.”

Me: ”Are the unelect ‘unable’ to believe the truth?”

Calvinist: ”No one is able to believe the truth unless God opens their eyes…”

Blaming me for not believing in Calvinism is like blaming a mentally handicapped person for not thinking.

Reformed contradiction #4

Tony Miano is witnessing to someone on video. During the conversation a Christian named Marco walked up to Tony and said he was being too hard and needed to teach more on God’s love. Tony then berated him and said, “So if me in my flesh can push people away from God then you believe in a weak God.” Tony then accused this Christian of “blaspheming God” because “Marcos, you think the gospel needs our help…You don’t believe the gospel is sufficient, Marco.”

Later in the video Tony explained the “correct” gospel to Marco by witnessing to Marco!

Why is Tony showing Marco the “correct” way when he just finshed telling Marco “you think the gospel needs our help?”

Apparently Tony’s god is “weak” too since he needs Tony to correct Marco.

Reformed Contradiction #5

Tony Miano is preaching to a crowd and tells them to repent and believe. A few minutes later Tony says ”God is a God of love and if He CAUSES you to be born again, THEN you can repent and THEN you can believe.”

I thought he told the crowd ”they” must repent and believe and now he is saying GOD MUST DO IT…very confusing to unbelievers….and everyone else.

Reformed contradiction #6

”God is sovereign in all things. If you don’t believe God gave you the faith to believe you are going against Gods sovereignty!”

But if I can go against Gods sovereignty than God isn’t sovereign in all things.

Reformed contradiction #7

”God does not predestine people for heaven and hell. He simply passes over those people not saving them”

”Don’t Calvinists believe God hated Esau before he did anything good or bad?”

”Yes.”

Sounds like God predestines people for heaven or hell.

Calvinist contradiction #8

”God isn’t obligated to respond to a person’s faith. God is completely sovereign and isn’t controlled by what people do.”

”Does God get angry at a sinners sin?”

”Yes.”

Then I guess God is controlled by what men do.

Calvinist contradiction #9

I decided to take a systematic theology class at my old church which was taught by a 5 point Calvinist named — this time in my life I believed what Calvinists told me, that Calvinism is not an essential issue. In the very first class we listened to a sermon on God’s sovereignty and in that sermon the speaker said If I didn’t believe in God’s sovereignty (as he was defining it by Calvinism) I’m an idolater.

But I thought Calvinism is not an essential issue?—, who is leading the class told me Calvinism is not an essential issue, then why is he showing the class a sermon that says the opposite?Answer: Because he really believes Calvinism is essential.

Calvinist contradiction #10

”Calvinism is not an essential issue. The essentials are the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Christ’s physical resurrection, salvation by grace through faith.”

Later in the conversation…”If you believe people can respond to the gospel using their free will you are a heretic.”

Calvinist contradiction #11

”Unbelievers are blinded by total depravity, they are unable to believe.”

Then why did God blind some of the Jews from believing if they are already blinded?

Calvinist contradiction #12

”Christ saved His own at the cross.”

But wouldn’t that mean when you were born you were saved?

Calvinist contradiction #13

”What do you think God does with mentally handicapped people who might be unable to believe in Christ?”

Calvinist: ”God is merciful and would choose them for salvation”

”What do you think God does with other people who are unable to believe in Christ because they are totally depraved?”

Calvinist: ”God sends them to hell.”

Calvinist contradiction #14

”The word ‘chosen’ means chosen for salvation”

”You mean like this?”

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Calvinist contradiction #15

Calvinist: ”The bible says to rightly divide the word of truth so any contradictions should be studied until they are no longer contradictions.”

”What about the contradiction between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility?”

Calvinist: ”Thats ok if we don’t understand that…that’s a mystery.”

Why are contradictions in other ministries exposed by Calvinists but not the ones in their own doctrine which are accepted as ”mysteries?”

Calvinist contradiction #16

Calvinist: ”Do not add or take away from God’s Word.”

”The bible says Christ died for the world, for whosoever, for any, for all of mankind.”

Calvinist: ”No it doesn’t! ‘World’ doesn’t mean all and ‘all’ doesn’t mean ‘all.’

Calvinist contradiction #17

Calvinist: ”God showed me the truth of Calvinism through the bible.”

”What did God show you?”

Calvinist: ”If you read <insert reformed teachers name here> book that sums up my beliefs.”

Are you sure you got this new doctrine from God?

Calvinist contradiction #20

Calvinist: ”People go to hell because they reject the gospel.”

”I thought you said the unsaved were people whom Christ never died for?”

Calvinist: ”Yes thats true.”

”So the unsaved are going to hell for rejecting a salvation that isn’t mean’t for them? Isn’t that like saying I’ll get mad at you for not coming to my party when I never invited you and don’t want you at my party?”

Calvinist contradiction #21

Calvinist preaching to a crowd: ”God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God wants all to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Wait, you don’t believe that, you believe God is not willing that the elect should perish and God only wants some people to come to a knowledge of the truth, so why are you lying to the crowd?

Calvinist contradiction #22

”If a body builder grabbed your arm, put a gun in your hand, and forced you to shoot someone are you responsible for it?”

Calvinist: ”No, because the body builder forced me to do it.”

”Was Judas forced by God to betray Christ?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”Then how is Judas responsible for betraying Christ if God forced him to do it?”Answer: God didn’t force Judas to betray Christ.

Calvinist contradiction #23

Calvinist: ”While witnessing I would never tell a sinner God loves them because I wouldn’t want to give them a false hope.”

”What happens when the sinner is concerned about going to hell?”

Calvinist: ”I would share with them the good news that Christ died for their sins on the cross.”

”Why would Christ die for their sins?”

Calvinist: ”Because…um…He…loves them.”

Calvinist contradiction #24

Calvinist: ”In John 17:9 Christ prays only for believers in the Gospel of John which proves He doesn’t love unbelievers.”

”Have you ever prayed for your children?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”Does this imply you love them and no one else in the world?”

Calvinist: <Silence>”Christ prayed ‘Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.’ Sounds like Christ is praying for unbelievers.”

Calvinist contradiction #25

Calvinist 1: ”I believe <insert doctrine here>”

Later that day talking to another Calvinist…

Calvinist 2: ”Your misrepresenting Calvinism! We don’t believe <insert doctrine from Calvinist 1 here>.”

Calvinist contradiction #26

Calvinist: ”I like Calvinism because I don’t have to worry about whether I spoke incorrectly to a sinner while witnessing. God does it all.”

”Is there a wrong way and a right way to preaching the gospel?”

Calvinist: ”Oh yes! The gospel must be presented accurately.”

Then I guess you better be careful how you speak.

Calvinist contradiction #27

Calvinist: ”<insert false teacher here> is teaching <insert false doctrine here>!”

”You sound concerned. Can someone predestined for heaven go to hell?”

Calvinist: ”No.”

”Can someone predestined for hell go to heaven?”

Calvinist: ”No.””Then why are you concerned?”Calvinist: ”Because God uses the gospel to save people and false teachers are preventing that.”False teachers are more sovereign than God

Calvinist contradiction #28

Calvinist: ”Sinners cannot respond to the gospel without the Spirit in them (1 Corinthians 2:14).”

”The Apostle Paul believed without the Spirit in Him until days later.”

Calvinist contradiction #30

Calvinist: ”The bible says unbelievers cannot do anything good. Romans 8:7 says unbelievers cannot obey God’s law.”

”Does the bible say the conscience is God’s law written on the hearts of everyone?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”When you were an unbeliever did you ever obey your conscience, even once?”

Calvinist: ”um…well…yes.”

Apparently Romans 8:7 is not teaching unbelievers are not able to do ”anything good”.

Calvinist contradiction #31

Calvinist: ”Calvinists are the most humble of Christians since we believe God does everything and we can do nothing.”

”You sound proud of your humility.”

Calvinist contradiction #34

Calvinist: ”Jesus said anyone who does the will of the Father goes to heaven. The unelect do not do God’s will.”

”Did God predestine the unelect for damnation?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”Then they are doing God’s will.”

Calvinist contradiction #38

”Take a classroom of say 20 people and put earplugs in their ears. Now give them some instructions. Then take their earplugs out. Will they obey your instructions?”

Calvinist: ”No, they couldn’t hear me.”

”Are you angry at them for disobeying your instructions??”

Calvinist: ”Why would I be angry, they can’t hear me! It wouldn’t be right for me to get angry.”

”Then why is God angry with sinners in the same condition?”

Calvinist: ”Because the bible says so!”

”You might want to reinterpret the verses you hold to, your ideas don’t make sense and you are confusing people about who God is and what He wants.”

Here is another good analogy by William

Lets say I have a time travel DVR and I record a football game before it happens. I can fast forward the game, play it slow motion, reverse it, fly around the stadium in 3D (that would be cool!). No matter how many times I do this the outcome is the same.  Now lets say that you can also see yourself in this video and the choices you make that affect others. You can see how your actions affect others. Are the players using their free will in response to you? Yes. Are events in the game predetermined? Yes, because you know the outcome. Events are both predetermined (because God knows how humans will use their freedom to respond to Him) and freely chosen. What about Judas?

1) God knows all things.
2) Whatever God foreknows must come to pass (i.e., is determined). If it did not come to pass, then God would have been wrong in what He foreknew. But an all-knowing [omniscient] God cannot be wrong in what He knows.)
3) God knew Judas would betray Christ.
4) Therefore, it HAD TO COME TO PASS (i.e, was determined) that Judas would betray Christ.
5) These events are predetermined and freely chosen at the same time.

Shipwreck example Acts 27

Paul assured his fellow travelers in advance that ”not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed” (v 22). Yet a few verses later he warned them, ”Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved” (v. 31). Both are true. God knew in advance and had revealed to Paul that none would drown (v.23), But He also knew it would be through their free choice to stay on the ship that this would be accomplished.

6 thoughts on “Interesting calvinistic contradictions and paradoxes

  1. Dear Editors: Have you folks ever heard of therapeutic paradoxes or creative dissonance or crisontism as I am wont to term it, that is, where two apparently contradictory ideas are intended to produce a tension in the mind which enables a believer to be balanced, flexible, creative, constant, and magnetic or, in short, God’s best subliminal advertisement of the faith, a mature Christian. Contradictions or what we call apparently antithetical ideas admit of other intellectual explanations. After all, we are challenged by a book inspired, as many suppose,, by Omniscience. It is sort of like a friend fishing on a clear mountain stream who decided to cross over to the other side. He looked down and judged the stream to be about 2-3 feet deep, because he could see the grains of sand rolling along the bottom, He stepped off into about 18-20 feet of water and nearly drowned. So is it with the book: it’s biggest problem is perspicuity as one old Puritan declared long ago. It is complexity in simplicity, infinite depth in the utmost clarity. Some fog, indeed!

    Gilla

    • Hey friend

      The Bible tells us Mark 12:30 ”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy MIND, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment”. If we are to believe in contradictory ideas (two things which cannot be true at the same time), then we are not able to obey this commandment which asks us to love God also with our MINDS. I’m not able to love and understand a God who predestines people to sin.

      The Bible is given to us as a book to understand, and we are to avoid complex philosophy. If contradictions are true, then absolutely anything can be true or false, and any denomination (mormons, JW, etc) can claim that they are correct. If contradictions are valid, then we could even be able to claim that all religions are true, even though it says in the Bible that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. We can just file this ”apparent problem” under ”Contradictions”. As soon as we find something we don’t agree with, we could just avoid the problem by calling it ”contradiction” or ”God’s ways are higher than our ways”. Works every time.

      It’s when we complicate things when things can go wrong. We should leave it simple. If God tells us to choose, it means we can choose between some alternatives. If people ”rebel” against God, it means that their actions happen against his will. If we can read and understand the Bible without adding contradictions, this is the better option.

      Gilla

      • My dear friend, don’t you give God any credit for Omniscience? And if there are no issues in this matter, just consider Jonah’s sermon to the city of Nineveh, Jonah 3. There is not one word of mercy; it is a unconditional prophecy of judgment to come which Jonah wanted but did not expect (Jonah 4). Ever hear of irony, one of the highest forms of communication according to some literary folks? God’s aim in that prophecy was to accomplish the very opposite of what was literally stated, Or try the word our Lord spoke in the presence of the woman of Canaan in Mt.15;21-28, where He said He was not sent but to the house of Israel and she was not an Israelite. Then He went even further and said it was not right to cast the children’s bread to dogs. The woman agreed with Him; she admitted she was a dog. ”But even the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table,” Or try Lk.4:16-31 where our Lord implied very clearly that someone else was chosen, offering not a smidgen of mercy although it is obvious that the offer is in the negative as in the case of the woman of Canaan. However, in the case of His fellow citizens of Nazareth, they wanted no part of being dogs. Instead they acted like a pack of dogs and tried to murder Him. It would seem that our Lord uses opposites to accomplish His purposes as well as similarities; He uses the bitter as well as the sweet.

        Gilla

      • Hey there

        ”Omniscience” is a separate issue from contradictions.

        <<There is not one word of mercy; it is a unconditional prophecy of judgment to come which Jonah wanted but did not expect (Jonah 4).

        I can't see any contradictions here, but a God who changes his mind.

        <<Or try the word our Lord spoke in the presence of the woman of Canaan in Mt.15;21-28

        Where is the contradiction? A contradiction is when two options are mutually exclusive and can't be true at the same time. Example: God forces a person to sin (as per calvinism) and gets mad at the sin that he forced the person to commit.

        GBU

        Gilla

      • Mal. 3:6: ”For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Job 23:13: ”But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? And what his soul desires, even that he does.” Isa.45:9-11 The One who declares He is God and there is none else says, ”My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” The same says, ”Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Acts 4:27,28, ”For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou has anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” And yet those folks acted just as freely as if God had not determined what they would do. Remember Joseph and what he said to his brothers, ”You thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring it to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Your argument is not with me: It is with what God Himself who has said and purposed and done. And all of it constitutes invitations to give one’s self into His care and keeping for salvation and everything else, and all of it shows plainly that God will hold a person accountable for what he or she has done. Just consider the woman of Canaan who said that Jesus was right about her being a dog and that even the dogs eat the crumbs. She was willing to accept whatever He said. And your remarks never even considered her response.

        Predestination and free agency are both true. No one makes me sin or forces me to sin. All God has to do is let me have the reins or the steering wheel, and I will, on my own, make a right good wreck of things. Like the fellow said, who had lost a son in an off-campus asphyxiation due to a space heater, ”If I did not believe that God controlled that tragedy to make it turn out for good somehow, I don’t know what I would do.” He said that in support of what I had said concerning three murders and a suicide that had happened in my family, just one of a whole series of traumas as some call them which have happened in my life, beginning at that age of three. As to therapeutic paradoxes, you might want to consider Viktor Frankl’s writings on Logotherapy or even a work by a number of authors bearing the title, Therapeutic Paradoxes, which I have in my library.

        Astronomers provided the help people needed about 4-500 years ago to understand that the Bible presented a different explanation for the starry skies than the one that had been shaped by Aristotelian understandings on the subject, understandings that controlled the power to understand texts that did not fit with the then perceived orthodoxy. There is also the reality of the scientific method coming to pass due to the Christian Faith as Philosopher and Mathematician Alfred North Whitehead pointed more than seventy years ago. Can it be that the discoveries concerning therapeutic paradoxes might help us to understand God better? Is God greater than we think?

        Gilla

      • Hey there friend

        <<Mal. 3:6: ”For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

        God doesn't change his nature or character. This verse is about something specific, namely the sons of Jacob in this particular situation. You and I already know that God can change his mind. He did in Nineveh.

        << Job 23:13: ”But he is in one mind, and who can turn him?

        Job also said: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither". Also literally true?

        << Isa.45:9-11 The One who declares He is God and there is none else says, ”My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

        This is also about something specific. Besides, if God has decided to save those who by free will believe in him and live righteous lives, surely he can do this according to his pleasure?

        << Acts 4:27,28, ”For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou has anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

        Do read my article: https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/08/judas-was-not-predestined-to-betray-jesus-acts-428/
        Judas SINNED when he betrayed Jesus. What was determined was Jesus death, but God certainly didn't have to move someone to accomplish it. Loads of people stood in line to kill Jesus.

        << And yet those folks acted just as freely as if God had not determined what they would do.

        Yes, because people can act against God's will. Or else they would not act freely. The Bible doesn't contradict itself.

        <<Remember Joseph and what he said to his brothers, ”You thought evil against me;

        The famous calvinistic argument, but have you read what freewillers usually respond? The "it" does not refer to the sin (because God does not tempt anyone, much less cause anyone to sin) but that God can cause a situation to have a good ending. Now, God doesn't do this all the time, but on a few occasions he has used man's evil schemes (which happen against his will) for something good, and God is also moved by our prayers (why else pray). Calvinists, however, suggest that this is how God works all the time, making him the author of sin.

        << Your argument is not with me: It is with what God Himself who has said and purposed and done.

        So you take this as a general rule, instead of the specific issue the verse was talking about? This means that you blame our God for sin.

        << it shows plainly that God will hold a person accountable for what he or she has done

        Yes, because man could have chosen to obey God but instead chose to disobey him. There is not one sin which has happened according to God's will. If God has predestined a person to sin, then God alone is to be blamed and he should send the sinner to heaven for doing his will.

        <<. Just consider the woman of Canaan who said that Jesus was right about her being a dog and that even the dogs eat the crumbs.

        Where is the contradiction? Where are the two sides which are mutually exclusive?

        <<Predestination and free agency are both true.

        Yes of course. Jesus return to earth is "predestined" for instance. But if you suggest that God predestines a person to sin, at the same time as this person does this "freely", then you are proposing a contradiction. The Bible contains no contradictions. If God predestines a person to sin, he doesn't have much choice does he? So did he sin according to God's will or against his will? It's one or the other. Not both.

        << All God has to do is let me have the reins or the steering wheel, and I will, on my own, make a right good wreck of things.

        Amen, it's a huge difference between God ALLOWING you to sin, and God PREDESTINING you to sin as calvinists claim. God allows us to sin, despite that sin always happens against his will. God never predestines us to sin.

        << ”If I did not believe that God controlled that tragedy to make it turn out for good somehow, I don’t know what I would do.”

        I would never blame God for predestining (if that is what you mean by controlling) my child to be hurt. If someone came to my house and killed my family, I wouldn't shake his hand and thank him for doing the will of God. God can be in a general "control" of this earth, but every single time a sin occurs it's always against his will. Or are you saying that every abortion, rape and murder must be attributed to God and that such cases happen because God wants them to happen?

        << He said that in support of what I had said concerning three murders and a suicide that had happened in my family, just one of a whole series of traumas as some call them which have happened in my life, beginning at that age of three.

        Are you saying those things happened in your life? That is terrible. I'm so sorry to hear that. I just hope you don't believe such horrible things happen according to God's will. He is "in control" though. He knows each sparrow that falls down dead.

        <<As to therapeutic paradoxes

        Paradoxes are not really the same as contradictions which are mutually exclusive. Like God forcing a person to sin at the same time as he doesn't want the person to sin.

        << There is also the reality of the scientific method coming to pass due to the Christian Faith as Philosopher and Mathematician Alfred North Whitehead —

        I fear that you trust more in philosophy than the Bible. The Bible is simple. I believe it's written in such a way that children can understand it.

        God bless you

        Gilla

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