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The philosophy of Calvinism more important than GOD for Calvinists?

tulips-2Why is it so important for Calvinists to believe in Calvinism, and that God predestined people to be elect and non-elect before they were even born?

Do they LIKE this story and the way it turns God out to be?

Is it because Calvinism is taught in the Bible? Or is it because Calvinism COULD be taught in the Bible if we ignore certain verses and read other verses in a vacuum to make the text conform to Calvinism? MUST we read the Bible as though Calvinism is taught in it, or is it possible that we can get another outcome (more flattering to God) without having to ignore or twist any verses at all? I would of course vote for the latter. Below are the options as I see it, and the absolutely most negative aspect of Calvinism is that it makes God out to be the author of sin, turning him into a tyrant who prevents most people from being saved. Or maybe there is something even worse – namely the idea that he does this FOR HIS GLORY! The mere thought should make a Christian cringe.

The Calvinistic option 

Note that I do not believe there are any Calvinists who are able to be consistent with their own doctrines, and consequently I do not believe they strictly believe what I write below. I believe they are way smarter than their own doctrines and that they more or less choose to be non-consistent Calvinists. Some try to be more consistent than others and openly admit that they believe God predestines even child molesters to commit their crimes, whereas others do all kind of gymnastics in order to avoid the absurd outcome that Calvinism demands.

  • This alternative makes God responsible for our actions, including our sins. Bringing up the topic of compatibilism does not help, because we cannot make mutually exclusive ideas become true just by describing an invented process with fancy words.
  • The idea is that nothing comes to pass against the will of God (at least if Westminster Confession of Faith is valid). Meaning that sin therefore (if we want to be consistent) happens according to his will. This God apparently also has at least two opposing wills, and one of his wills is attributed to his desire that get people to sin in order to accomplish his purposes.
  • Since God is the author of sin, he is someone who sadly does not make sense and is therefore difficult to approach with a sincere heart. How is it possible to love someone above everything else, knowing that he has predestined most people to be wicked non-elect sinners before they were even born, and even gets so mad at them for being what he created them to be that he sends them to hell?
  • Jesus did not die for everybody but only a select few, indicating that God never intended to offer salvation to all in the first place.
  • A Calvinist has good reason to be boasting, considering that God chose them to be the bright wise stars in the world and not others.
  • Ja. 1:13 must be ignored since it says that God does not tempt any man. Calvinists takes a step further since Calvinism teaches that God not only tempts people but makes them sin.
  • Why Jesus had to die on the cross is a complete mystery is Calvinism is true. Could the elect not remain elect unless Jesus died on the cross? Did Jesus die because something went wrong? Something against God’s plans? Exactly what went wrong, and against God’s will?
  • Hell is a place replete with people who have obeyed God to 100% (by being the wicked non-elect sinners that God predestined them to be.)
  • The word ”sovereign” is added to the Bible (in relation to KJV), which is not a problem per se, but the Calvinistic interpretation of this non-Biblical word is. By excluding the possibility that God could very well have created man with free will, this word must then by necessity mean that only God’s will could be in force on earth, leading yet again to that sin happens according to his will.
  • Preaching and praying do not make any sense if Calvinism is true. The elect cannot perish, and the non-elect can never be saved. Must we do these things because God has told us to? What will then be the horrible outcome if we do not obey?
  • Why all the fuss about sin, if Calvinism is true? If the idea is that nothing comes to pass against his will?

The free will option.

  • This alternative makes MAN responsible for his own actions, which means that sin must be blamed on man and not on God.
  • God does not want anyone to perish and there is much joy in heaven each time a person repents and can get his life restored. God’s sovereignty is not disturbed just because he chose to create man with free will and responsibility for his own actions. God does not have contradictory wills, and every single time a persons sins it is always against his will.
  • Man sins according to his own will and against the will of God. This means that the God makes perfect sense when he constantly persuades people to avoid sin. God is holy and therefore disobedience separate us from him. We are created to seek him and find him (Acts. 17).
  • Jesus died for everyone, showing his true love for every man. We are told to be merciful just like he is.
  • We have no reason to be boasting about our salvation since we are 100% lost without God. We have no authority to forgive ourselves our own sins, but we are completely dependent on the mercy of God. He expects us to repent for our sins, and doing so is not ”boasting” since all has been given this ability.
  • Freewillers totally trust the Biblical information that God does not tempt any man and does NOT make people sin.
  • Jesus death on the cross makes perfect sense. Something went terribly wrong and against God’s plans (sin), and there is no forgiveness without sacrificed blood. God was not surprised that Adam and Eve disobeyed him since he created them with the ability to love/hate and obey/disobey, and naturally then disobedience was a possible outcome. This is why it also makes sense that God made sure to warn Adam and Eve ahead of time about sinning, telling them that sin produces death. He told them NOT to eat, and they ate.
  • Hell is a place for disobedient people who have acted against God’s commandments. They had the opportunity to be sent to heaven but due to their pride and their choice to not be followers of God, they deserve hell.
  • Freewillers do not believe anything is too difficult for God, which means he is capable of creating man with free will and making man responsible for his own actions.
  • Preaching and praying make perfect sense, since by doing so we can make influences on the spiritual world and the outcome of things.

Why is not the Freewill option above the better one, and the only option that saves us from having to blaspheme God by suggesting that he somehow orchestrates sin?calvinism-41

I have spoken to many Calvinists and I sense that most of them do not even want the Freewill option to be true because then they would have to give up Calvinism. It seems like saving Calvinism is much more important than God himself. They have all chances in the world to study on apologetic sites that could help them overcome their Calvinistic hurdles and help them to see the Bible in  a different light, but they decline. They prefer to stick with their Calvinistic teachers and books, and whenever they run into a contradiction they choose to go to such sources to see if there is a solution. They would not consider going to freewill sources, since their goal is to save Calvinism. Saving the character of God from being attacked is not important? It is as though they already have their mind made up. They might ask me if they same does not apply to me – maybe I have also made up my mind beforehand? OK, but does it not make more sense to start off checking those sources that save God from being a selfish tyrant, and where there are no mutually exclusive contradictions that I have to battle?

Many Calvinists commonly ask why it would be a better alternative if God created
people knowing that there would be people denying him. It would be a better alternative since it would place the responsibility and culpability with man and not on God. Knowing something is a possibility ahead of time is not the same thing as predestining it to take place. Instead of ”God made me do it”, a person must face the consequences for his own choices.

Even if it is not a perfect example, I often compare it with a Christian parent living in a secular country (much like my own) and where she/he ”knows” that not all of his/her children will grow up to be believers, or even good respectful citizens, due to the agnostic/atheistic propaganda taught in school, among friends, in the media, and everywhere. Even if the Bible would be taught at home, and even if the parents would spend a lot of time encouraging their children to maintain their Christian faith, it is also close to a certainty that not all their children will make the better choice. So would the parent therefore decide to not have any children at all due to this sad reality? I have not met one person yet with this approach. Even if the parent would be told through a prophesy that not all his/her children would be saved, the parent might still decide to have children. If some of the children would turn out to be agnostics as adults, it would not be the parent’s fault. Each person must be responsible for his own actions and choices in life.

There are Calvinists who admit that there are contradictions in Calvinism, but then they often try to excuse their hopeless situation with this verse:

Is. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For them this verse means that even if they have no idea how to solve their theological contradictions now, they expect to do so when they get to heaven. A freewiller, however, does not have to wait until heaven before the Bible makes sense, because there are no verses which must be ignored or twisted.

Jesse Morell winner in DEBATE with calvinist Matt Slick

Matt Slick (1)

Jesse Morell demolished Matt Slick due to a more Biblical theology view as well as superior debate ethics 

The entire debate can be found here, together with an outline of Jesse’s presentation in case you missed it.

I do not believe there will ever be a debate with a Calvinist who does not charge the other for misunderstanding or misrepresenting Calvinism. My views are as follows.

Best theology (regardless of presentation) – Winner is Jesse, but he had an easy task before him since it is definitely not hard to find scriptures which contradict Calvinism and support free will. The teaching of free will (as in the logical and traditional understanding of the word – as in being able to make contrary choices) is taught throughout the Bible, and the Bible is actually a book describing people who constantly act against the will of God (all of his multiple wills, if you will). Man’s free will is so obvious that the only way to get around it is to change the meaning of the word as well as twisting a lot of verses, and that is a common skill among Calvinists. (Those who have attended reformed Bible schools are particularly gifted in this area.) The only other option to free will is that God has created most of us to believe we have free will even though we do not.

So it looks like people who ”falsely” believe in free will still act according to God’s will since nothing happens against his will. Calvinism is contradictory to its core, and the amount of Calvinists who are able to be consistent with their own doctrines is zero. Matt Slick did not change this number. Most Calvinists constantly express themselves as though we have free will (a libertarian free will), and they often criticize others and urge them to repent – as though the unrepentant could make this decision of his own and as though a mere person could influence someone to repent even though God has already made his decrees. Matt repeatedly warned Jesse to correct his ways and views as though Jesse has made the wrong theological choices contrary to God’s desires. Apparently God’s irresistible decrees do not always come about, if people believe in heresy against his will? How hard it is for Calvinists do be consistent with their semi-gnostic philosophy. Also the old church fathers before Augustine (who brought so many heresies into church) believed in man’s (libertarian) free will, and none believed in a depraved/ruined nature as can be seen here.

Best presentation and ability to stay on topic – Winner is Jesse who demolished Matt Slick. Jesse showed way more confidence and calmness in his speech despite that Matt sat beside him repeatedly flipping though his papers, adjusting his computer, rearranging stuff on his desk, making shoulder gymnastics, etc. While both naturally provided lots of scriptures and showed great Biblical knowledge, Jesse managed to squeeze in more scriptures without being boring, and selected clear verses which stood as great examples for man’s free will, synergism, and that God’s will does not always happen. Most importantly, he broke apart the verses that Matt provided for his case and when including the entire context the verses in no way confirm the Calvinistic stance but the exact opposite. Jesse spoke with authority without insulting the other person’s character, but rather explained why the teachings of Gnosticism and Calvinism are unbiblical heresies which also the early church fathers fought against. Jesse was way more organized also in his appearance, and unlike Slick he did not desperately search through his notes, folders or a computer. Jesse did not even bring a computer (he had his phone if needed) but trusted solely on his written material as well his book. He seemed to know his material as well as Bible verses by heart and acted as a real pro.

The fact that Matt Slick brought up the topic of open theism shows his desperation, because the topic was rather free will vs election (of human beings). Discussing open theism takes a lot of time and deserves a debate of its own. If Jesse would have spent time responding to Matt’s attempt to go down that rabbit hole, then it is a good guess that Matt would respond back and the debate would set off in a direction which was not intended. A skilled and polite debater knows how to stay on topic rather than getting off the track. It is common that debaters bring up other topics when they cannot refute the current ones on the table.

Most humble attitude and ability to present criticism without insults – Winner is Jesse who was far from being arrogant. ”You shall know them by their fruit”, and it is quite obvious who showed good fruit and who has more to learn. Matt revealed a lot about himself when he made so many faces during his opponent’s speech. I prefer to believe he was nervous rather than purposely trying to disturb his opponent, but it definitely looked disrespectful. The more time that passed, the more faces Matt made and I even saw him forming words with his mouth during Jesse’s later talks (hopefully not saying the words out loud). Maybe Matt reacted in this way because he is so used to his own Calvinistic environment where he does not get a lot of opposition like he did now.

Matt said something about seeing himself as the worst of sinners (listen to the debate to hear his exact phrase), and some people in the audience reacted on that during the Q & A section. Matt sighed about their questions and asked if they would like to know what he meant by that statement. It appears that he disapproved of people who took him by his words, rather than understanding there might be an underlying meaning. It is true that false accusations and misrepresentations should best be avoided, but Matt is pretty good at it himself (and I have listened to his radio shows so I know what I am talking about). When he later asked a girl if she was perfect and she said yes, then he replied something like ”Oh, so you’re divine!”, which she of course never claimed to be. Naturally Matt did not believe it either, but would he like to know what she meant by her affirmation? Could there be an underlying meaning? The fact is that it is possible to be perfect without being divine, so Matt did not need to make this accusation. She did not even claim to never having sinned. Jesus told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, which means that we can. The question is rather what it MEANS, and it is quite clear that Matt feels that he has the right definition.

Some people in the audience could have sounded friendlier, focusing on formulating the question rather than ”telling” the debaters things, but then it is important to criticize the individuals it concerns rather than judging the entire audience as a group. In Matt’s case he should of course take it up with God if he believes that nothing comes to pass against his will. A consistent Calvinist should know that criticism about anything or anyone is criticism against God himself.

OUR good works will glorify God

If good works will glorify God, then it is hard to understand why God would force people to be wicked non-elect from the foundation of the world and send them to hell because of it (as though they could have made another option contrary to his decrees). Matt would likely protest against this description about forcing, but that is exactly what his doctrines about total depravity and predestination suggest and what Calvin and Calvinistic scholars have admitted (Jesse quoted some of them, but there are plenty more).

The idea that Jesus can transfer HIS righteousness into us is not a Biblical idea. We can of course read about ”imputed righteousness”, and it means to be regarded/reckoned as righteous because we ARE. We are, because we have been totally cleansed in the blood of Jesus and left our old sinful man behind.

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see YOUR GOOD WORKS, and GLORIFY your Father which is in heaven.1—19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, AND SHALL TEACH MEN SO, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That EXCEPT YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Who would Matt Slick side with in Matt 5:16-20? The one who does the commandments (obeys them) and teach others that it is possible to do so? That is not the impression I got from the debate. He rather warned Jesse about the teaching that it is possible to refrain from all sin and that we are the ones who must live holy lives rather than leaning on someone else’s righteousness and continue sinning. Jesse is apparently in deep trouble for teaching the importance of being victorious over sin and being able to be completely faithful to Jesus by the way we are living (rather than relying on someone else’s righteousness being transferred into us). Is God particularly mad at those who live holy lives and teach others to do the same? If this is not what Matt meant, then maybe he should not have complained about Jesse’s holiness-teaching but rather supported him. Righteous people will go to heaven and sinners will go to hell. Not the other way around! The Bible provides a warning about teachers who tell others that it is not possible to be totally faithful to God, and that it is not a big deal for Christians since we are unconditionally and eternally saved anyway:

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS is righteous, even as he is righteous.

If Calvinism is right, people who have obeyed God to 100% will end up in hell, and Jesus death on the cross is a complete puzzle. Did something go wrong which necessitated Jesus death on the cross? Exactly what went wrong, and could not God have predestined people to live holy lives without the need for Jesus atonement? I cannot think of a religion/philosophy which maligns the character of God the way Calvinism does. Not even mormonism, JW or Catholicism. Many freewillers do what they can to protect God from all attacks by Calvinists, and we must continue to pray for people like Jesse who defends God’s pure character which is far from darkness and sin – and naturally for Matt Slick!

For Calvinists Calvinism is important. Their doctrines require that they blame God for all sin either directly or indirectly, but they must wrap this message in a lot of sweet words so that they can trick more people into falling for Calvinism.

He that COMETH to God must BELIEVE that he is – Hebr. 11:16

regeneration 3But without FAITH it is impossible to please him: for he that COMETH to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

It is rather clear that God requires us to have faith in him and believe in him before we come to him (we would not come to him unless we believed in him). We must carry faith/belief with us when we come. Calvinists, however, believe in Total inability (as in T in TULIP), so they believe that all people are born with a natural inability to believe in God, and that God consequently must ”open their eyes” in order to make them believe. This results in God actually choosing whom to save and whom to damn (before we are even born), because God does not enable all to believe in him. Hebr. 11:6 does not suggest that God starts out making some of us believe. It is rather we who must make sure to believe and come to him. If we do, we have wonderful things in store for us! The Bible does not teach anything close to Calvinism. We are ALL given light when we come into this world and we are requested to believe and to follow him in order to not walk in darkness:

John. 1:4 In him was life; and the life was THE LIGHT OF MEN.—9 That was the true Light, WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE THE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GODeven to them that BELIEVE on his name

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON ME should not abide in darkness.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light OF THE WORLD: he that FOLLOWETH ME shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 3:21 But he that DOETH truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

2 Cor. 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them WHICH BELIEVE NOT, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Notice above that God chooses to blind the minds of them WHICH BELIEVE NOT. That is a similar story as in Rom. 1:18-32, where God in v. 28 is told to give people up to a reprobate mind because of their refusal to retain God in their knowledge.

Pay special attention to John 1:12 which says:

”But AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE THE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GODeven to them that BELIEVE on his name”

The order of events is 1) believe/receive him, leading to 2) becoming the sons of God. Not the other way around.

People who COME must believe, and they might not always DO the things of God or remain with him

Jesus asks:

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the things which I say?

According to Calvinism I thought it was not even possible to NOT do the things which the Lord says? So why does Jesus imply that it is possible to act contrary to his requests? He continues:

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and DOETH them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.49 But he that heareth, and DOETH NOT, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

I thought all people everywhere always did the sayings of the Lord? Yet here we can see that some people COME to the Lord, HEAR his sayings and yet choose to NOT do the sayings of the Lord. It certainly does not seem like we always act as God would want us to act. The blame for ”not doing” is further on man and not on God. Notice that the parable is about men who builds something – their own houses – which means that their own choice of building construction will depend on

Ja. 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.–40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH ON HIM, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.—51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if ANY MAN EAT of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Parable of the great banquet – where people are requested to COME and yet they do notvälja liv2

 Below we can see that the Master of the house asked his servant to go out and bid many to a great supper. The servant was asked to say to those who were bidden to ”COME, for all things are now ready”. The Master in this parable could be likened to God the Father, and as we can see in the parable people who were initially invited to come found excuses for not coming!

The servant was then asked to ”bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind”, which is something the servant had already done. It seems like these groups of people (rather unfortunate people here on earth due to their poverty and physical shortcomings) had an advantage here because they were singled out as specifically welcomed, but we are not told that every single one of them chose to come. Just that there was still room left also after these groups had been invited. (The case could also be that people who are poor and maimed have a higher tendency to seek God compared to people who have always lived in comfort and luxury.)

The Master became ANGRY when those who were initially bidden declined to come. The blame for not coming must be placed on them and not on the Master (God) because the Master truly wanted all invited to come – yet they did not. The Master said of those who declined to come: ”none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper”.

Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

After having told the parable, Jesus continues to explain that if we do come to him we must ”hate” our father and mother, which means that we should not act like the unwise people in the parable who offered up various excuses for not coming to the Supper, such as marriage, when they were compelled to come. Nothing should prevent us from coming to God if he calls us! Not even if it is about our father and mother. Naturally marriages,   parents, newly bought land, etc are important matters, but compared to God and his calling we must still prioritize correctly and place all other things in second place. A condition for being a disciple is to bear our cross and follow Jesus. He does not say that he will do this for us and instead of us so that we will not have to.

He goes on to explain that it is our job to count the cost before we choose to come! Do we have sufficient motivation to be his disciples? Will we be able to love God before anything/anyone else and carry our cross? If not, coming to Jesus will not save us if we are not prepared to forsake other things which might be in the way when we become his disciples. We must be eager to follow him and obey his commandments, which will truly show that we love him. It might seem like a difficult task, but we are not asked to cease living in this world or to avoid having families and possessions. We are just asked to be prepared to place God before anything else – and if we love him we obey him. The holy Spirit is our helper! Salt is good but even salt can lose its’ savor, which indicates that we are not unconditionally saved:

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Parable of the wedding banquet – where people on the wedding invitation refuse to come

 There is one verse in the below parable which Calvinists often quote, and that is ”For many are called, but few are chosen”. This verse read in a vacuum might sound like God is the one choosing whom to save, but not only does the verse not say this, but the context shows that those who are called ”chosen” are those who accept to come to the King’s wedding feast for his son! This means that we can all end up in the great wedding feast if we choose to accept the invitation and also make sure to show up – dressed in proper clothes. It is our responsibility to go to the party that we have been invited to, and if we decline and/or do not show up it is our fault and certainly not God’s fault for not ”choosing” us. We can all be among the chosen, and God should not be blamed if we find ourselves on the outside.

Let us also remember that Israel was ”chosen”, but not all Israel will be saved. When we read about groups of people or individuals being ”chosen”, it does not necessarily mean ”chosen to believe”. In fact, there is not one such case in the Bible. This parable clearly shows that many people who had their names on the guest list for the wedding feast chose not to come, even though the King expected them to come and was angry when they gave excuses for not coming! God would want all people to be saved, but man has a free will and is responsible for his own decisions and actions. Good and bad people are invited to come, which means that also unrighteous people have a chance to enter the kingdom of God. The condition, however, is repentance in order to be forgiven and cleansed, and if we repent we will also get the proper wedding garments. 

Matt. 22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and THEY WOULD NOT COME.4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

How should Calvinists live to PLEASE God?

calvinsm 49Here is another thought for Calvinists – who believe that God is micromanaging all of our steps.

The Bible tells us what is pleasing to God and what is not pleasing to him, and surely a behavior that is not pleasing to God is also against his will? Or why would God predestine things to take place which he does not even like happening? The problem here is of course the Calvinistic idea that nothing comes to pass against the will of God, and in order to be consistent with the Calvinistic doctrines it is not enough to suggest that God merely ”allows”  evil things to happen because that is rather the free-will approach. Calvinists do not believe that man has a will apart from God’s will, so they must believe that all things are predestined to happen precisely as they pan out (again – in order to be consistent with Calvinism). Therefore Calvinists are not really entitled to criticize anything or anyone, because that would be the same as criticizing God himself.

What is NOT pleasing to God?

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Seems like God was not pleased with all of Israel’s behavior during the Exodus (despite that Israel was ”chosen”), due to their idolatry, fornication, tempting God, etc. Neither did they enter the land of Canaan due to their unrighteous behavior, and this punishment could serve as a warning to us – so that we will maybe learn to not act in the way they did. Paul is listing things we simply should not do, and his warnings would be in vain if we were unable to act against the will of God. If Paul were a Calvinist, he would not need to spend time warning us about various matters but he would rather relax and remind himself of that God is behind whatever happens (which is fatalism). Unless of course people do evil things against the will of God, but that thought is not allowed for consistent Calvinists due to their understanding of God’s sovereignty (an unbiblical word that is much highlighted).

1 Thess. 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

Above we can read about some Jews who were guilty of having killed Jesus Christ, killed God’s prophets, persecuted Christians as well as forbidding them to speak to Gentiles about salvation. It is not surprising to learn that they did not please God due to these sins, and that they had to expect God’s wrath due to their evil behavior. So was is Satan or God who caused them to act in a way that did not please God?

Rom. 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

They that are in the flesh cannot please God, so the solution is to not be in the flesh but to live after the Spirit. Paul is clearly laying out the options for us – obeying sin or righteousness and if we obey the former we will be slaves to sin and not free. To be carnally minded is the same as enmity against God, and why would God cause anyone to have a carnal mind? Some Calvinists might suggest that God did not cause such things at all but that it is rather in some people’s own nature to be carnally minded. But were they carnally minded against God’s will? Did they have an option to not be born as wicked non-elect individuals with carnal minds? Did Jesus die for them? The answer would have to be No to all those questions in order to be consistent with Calvinism.

What IS pleasing to God?

Hebr. 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Apparently God is well pleased when we praise him continually, give thanks to his name and do good. Should we conclude that God is only pleased when the elect do such things, but not when it comes to the non-elect? Why would God prevent certain people (those who are born as non-elect, and for whom Jesus did not die) from behaving in a way that is pleasing to him?

Hebr. 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was notfound, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Without faith it is impossible to please God (and already when we come to God we must believe that he is), so would not this mean that God wants people to believe in him so that he will be pleased? It is easy to understand why God is pleased each time a person believes and repents for his sins, because that would mean yet another saved soul. There is joy in heaven each time a person repents. In the Calvinistic world, however, the only way to try to save their doctrines would be to somehow suggest that God does not want all people to repent, believe and do good (the non-elect).

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance

How is God glorified?glorified

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Surely it is good for man to glorify God, or is it the same thing here that God only wants some people to glorify him? Above, Jesus is talking to his disciples (and all of us) and tells them that his Father is glorified when they bear much fruit so that they can be his disciples. Jesus continues to say that IF they keep his commandments, they shall abide in his love. Why would God prevent some people from glorifying him, bearing much fruit and keep his commandments? Did those unfortunate people who were chosen to be wicked non-elect sinners from the foundation of the world have a chance to do good deeds which could glorify the Father? Hardly if they were born as the non-elect natural sinners they were chosen to be long before birth. Salvation would be out of their reach due to being doomed from the very start.

1 Pet. 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Seems rather clear that it is pleasing for God to in all things be glorified, because he certainly deserves it and because we need to focus on our Creator and Savior. Yet, we are supposed to believe that God would not enable all people to do this? And he would still send people to hell for refusing to glorify him – which he prevented them from doing?

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Above we can read about people who choose not to glorify God despite that they have been shown all about God and his creation by God himself. So despite having the opportunity to accept the Creator, they still refuse to glorify him or being thankful for what he has done for them (of course, if Calvinism is true there would not be anything for the non-elect to be thankful for). Due to their failure to do so, God’s wrath is revealed from heaven over all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. It certainly looks like all forms of unrighteousness is detested by God, so it is hard to believe he would not only tempt people but cause them to perform evil deeds.

10 common calvinist proof text arguments debunked, like John 6, Acts 13:48 and John 10:28-29

trassel2Calvinism is a confusing set of doctrines based on the five points of Calvinism in TULIP. Calvinists are famous for complicating the Bible, for reading Bible verses in a vacuum and for reading the Bible through the filter of some proof text verses with their own preferable interpretation.

Their unfortunate theology frequently leads to contradictions such as Jesus not dying for everyone and God causing people to sin, which they often disregard by stating ”God’s ways are higher than your ways” or ”who are you to argue against God?”. The very first church fathers (up until close to the advent of Augustine) did not teach anything close to Calvinism which is semi-gnostic in nature. Calvinism is therefore based on the tradition of men rather than on the Bible and the understanding of the very first apostles/saints (see Jude 3).

Col. 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

If God’s will always happens and if he chooses people for salvation/damnation from the beginning of the world, then it follows that he forced wicked non-elect sinners into this world – who will end up in hell despite totally obeying God at all times. This applies IF you want to be consistent with Calvinism, which so far no Calvinist has ever succeeded to be. Hard core Calvinists are seldom interested in getting rid of their contradictions (such as painting a very dark picture of our Lord) which could easily come true if they only adopted the more Biblical ”free will” alternative which does not in any way threaten God’s sovereignty. It is sad to see how they instead prefer to stick with their reformed teachers who make them believe that Jesus did not love everyone and did not die for the whole world.

Here are 10 of some common proof text verses (more details in the links)

1) John 6:39-44 argument about God drawing people, forcing them to be saved

Calvinists just love v. 44 and prefer not to let the other verses destroy their preferred understanding of this particular verse, which on the surface seems to say exactly what they want it to say – if you only ignore the rest of the verses. How would the outcome be if we read this verse in a vacuum?:

Matt. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Jesus draws ALL men in John 12:32, but even if we cannot come to him unless he draws us and enables us all to be saved, we must still meet the requirements for salvation which boil down to believe. Calvinists also love to quote v. 39, but not v. 40 which includes a condition for salvation – ”— every one which SEETH the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day”.

What is the point with all conditions listed in John 6, such as the requirements to learn, eat, drink, believe, see and come to him? Why not simplify it and say ”whomsoever I choose and force to believe in me will be saved” if that is what John really wants to emphasize? In v. 66 we can read about some of his disciples who went back and walked no more with him, and in v. 70 we can read about a person who Jesus chose but who was still lost – Judas. In John 1:6-7 we can read that Jesus came so that ”ALL through him might believe”. Why then do not all believe? Because they have chosen to not meet the requirements listed above. God created us TO SEEK HIM and FIND HIM:

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 THAT THEY SHOULD SEEK THE LORD, if haply they might feel after him, and FIND HIM, THOUGH HE BE NOT FAR FROM EVERY ONE OF US: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, WE OUGHT NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof HE HATH GIVEN ASSURANCE UNTO ALL MEN, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/05/no-man-can-come-except-the-father-draws-him-john-644/

2) Rom. 8:29-30 argument where God predestines/forces certain individuals to be saved whereas he damns the rest

V. 28 makes it clear that the promises are linked only to those who LOVE GOD. We must have this information in mind when we proceed to v. 29 so that we know to whom the promises are meant. The body of Christ is foreknown and predestined to enter the kingdom of God and reach glorification. There WILL be a body of Christ (the church) entering heaven, and it consists of people who choose to love God. If anyone wants to be part of the body of Christ and the wonderful promises tied to it, he must love God above everything else and endure to the end. (See more under Eph. 2 below.) ”Predestination” and ”elect” are two Biblical words, but nowhere in the Bible will we see individuals chosen for salvation.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/17/whom-he-did-predestinate-them-he-also-called-and-justified-and-glorified-rom-829-30/

3) Rom. 9 argument where absolutely everything turns out exactly as God wants since no one can resist calvinism 13his will – and where it is not even possible to talk back to God at any time

Calvinists absolutely adore Rom. 9 despite their interpretation that most people are born desperately doomed, but since they do not pay attention to the context they totally misunderstand what Paul is trying to get the Jews to understand. His point is that it is God’s prerogative to arrange the salvation plan in any way he wants, including making the salvation offer opened also for the gentiles – and as we have learned – based on faith rather than being born Jewish, or being ”first” as God’s chosen people who were given the law of Moses. That is why he makes the comparison with Jacob and Esau (the first-born), which certainly does not tell us anything about God choosing individuals for salvation. God will show mercy on whomever he will show mercy, but it does not say that he does this unconditionally. This becomes even more clear when we realize that Paul is quoting scriptures, where God was having a dialogue with Moses during Exodus. Furthermore, in Rom. 11 we can read about the branches: ”because of unbelief they were broken off”. 

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/18/romans-9-shows-mans-free-will/

Mercy on whom I will have mercy:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2013/06/10/i-will-have-mercy-on-who-i-will-have-mercy-but-god-still-has-conditions-rom-915/

Jacob and Esau:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2011/07/06/god-did-not-hate-esau-before-he-was-born-romans-913/

In Jeremiah 18 we can read about the clay (a picture of Israel) being marred in the potter’s hands. Clearly no potter wants his clay marred, forcing him to start over again with the hope that it will turn better the next time. The chapter makes it clear that Israel has the opportunity to repent and to become obedient, and if they do God will not treat them harshly as he threatens to do. Rom. 9 does not say that God  is the one ”fitting” individuals for destruction. If people are prepared for destruction, it is their own doing due to their way of living. Why would God have to ”endure with much longsuffering” if people always obeyed him? There is a wonderful place prepared for the vessels of mercy, and anyone can reach that place. 2 Tim. 2:21 tells us that MAN is expected to PURGE HIMSELF from the vessels of dishonor, and if he does he will be a vessel unto HONOR. Needless to say that Calvinists do not appreciate that verse, and similar verses, at all.

The potter and the clay:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/04/the-potter-acts-depending-on-the-clay-we-have-a-free-will-romans-9/

Pharaoh is said in the Bible to have hardened his own heart. If someone has the opportunity to do the right thing and obey the only true God and still chooses to disobey him, it is possible to phrase it as though ”God hardened his heart”, because if God had not provided this particular opportunity to choose the right thing, Pharao could not have been expected to choose it. By presenting Pharaoh with this option, likely knowing he would not choose the right thing, ”God hardened his heart”. Or Pharaoh hardened his heart, whatever you prefer since it boils down to the same thing. Since Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, it shows that it was not completely hard before this point. Yet, Calvinists often teach that the non-elects’ hearts are as hard as they could be. The Bible says that it is certainly possible for man to harden his heart – naturally against God’s will:

Ex. 9:17 AS YET EXALTEST THOU THYSELF AGAINST MY PEOPLE; THAT THOU WILT NOT LET THEM GO?

Ex 9:34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. (Here we can read that Pharao SINNED by hardening his heart, so if we want to believe God is the one hardening it, then GOD is the one who forced Pharao to sin.)

Jer. 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart,ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Hebr. 3:7 Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness

Rom. 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not convenient;—

Pharaoh’s heart:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2015/05/08/joseph-was-sold-as-slave-by-his-brothers-god-meant-evil-for-good-gen-5020/

4) Phil. 2:13 argument that God is the one making you do all the stuff that you do

If God is the one making us do good things, and actually also bad things since nothing happens against his will (if Calvinism is true), then naturally God alone must be blamed if we lack fruit in our lives. Apparently he did not place the ”will” in us to show good fruit, and who can resist his will? So if we sin, we can certainly say ”God made me do it”. Still, Paul is telling the Philippians how they should and should not do things, indicating that they might make mistakes. He even indicates that he himself might labor ”in vain”, which would not make sense if God is the one making him do the things he does.

Phil. 2:12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.

14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:15THAT ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

If we draw near to God, he will draw near to us, and the holy Spirit will fill us with an improved strength to live holy lives and bear good fruit.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2011/12/16/god-works-in-you-both-to-will-and-to-do-as-per-phil-213/

5) John. 10:28-29 argument about Jesus choosing his sheep and forcing them to stay with himsheep 2

These two verses are popular, but seldom are they combined with the previous v. 27 which identifies WHO the sheep are in v. 28-29. They are the ones who HEAR his voice and FOLLOW him, wich are requirements. No MAN is able to pluck them out of Jesus’ hands, but the verses do not say that men cannot leave on their own accord – without being plucked out by someone else. We do not lose our free will when we decide to follow Jesus, and we are still able to choose to obey or disobey.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2014/01/18/jesus-sheep-i-give-them-eternal-life-and-they-shall-never-perish-john-1028/

6) Eph. 4:30 argument that we are sealed until the day of redemption and once saved always saved

The verse does not say that we are sealed/saved until the day of redemption but we are sealed UNTO or FOR the day of redemption. On the day of redemption only those with the seal will be saved, and God can provide us with this type of seal provided that we do our part of the deal. Up until the time of redemption a seal can certainly be broken. To be sealed is to be marked, and if we have the holy Spirit and are led by him, we are certainly a unique group of people and sealed/marked and separate from the world. During the old testament it was the circumcision that was the seal (for men) demonstrating that a man belonged to God, but neither this seal indicated that the sealed/marked person could not choose to wander away from God. We do not lose our free will (to obey or disobey) only because we are marked with the seal.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/22/sealed-unto-the-day-of-redemption-but-a-seal-can-be-broken-eph-430/

7) Eph. 2:1-2 argument that individuals are chosen for salvation/damnation before they are even born

Ephesians 1-2 speaks about a corporate election. The body of Christ (the church) will be going to heaven, which was planned and known from the beginning of the world. Jesus knew that he would not die in vain, and that there would be a group of people who would choose to believe in him and endure to the end. Anyone is free to join this body of Christ which is predestined to go to heaven. Compare it with a bus that is going to a certain destination with a number of passengers  – which are those who choose to turn up, show their tickets and remain on the bus. Something that is frequently mentioned is that the wonderful promises are connected to those who are IN HIM. It is THROUGH HIM that we can reach the kingdom of God, so we must make sure to be IN CHRIST – or else the promises are not for us. To be ”elect” is to be precious/special. Israel was also ”elect” (and certain angels were as well) but this does not mean that all Israel will be saved. A ”guarantee receipt” can be a great value for you because it entitles you (if it has not expired) to certain rights, but if you throw it away or if you lose it, then it will not do you much good despite all the promises that are listed on it. Moreover, it is a very bad idea to be dead in trespasses and sins. Sins separate us from God and make us spiritually dead. And people are not born as children of wrath.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/08/30/its-a-choice-to-be-children-of-wrath-ephesians-2/

judas8) Acts 4:26-28 argument that Judas was predestined to sin by betraying Jesus

There is no darkness in God. The Bible is clear that he does not tempt anyone, much less causes people to sin. If God has forced Judas to betray Jesus, Judas really should be awarded a place in paradise – as a thanks for obeying God to 100%. Yet we know that it would have been better if he had not been born. Judas SINNED by betraying Jesus.

Matt. 26:24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.

Jesus death was predetermined but it was not necessary to cause Judas or anyone else to be involved in this plan. There was no shortage of people who wanted to betray and kill Jesus, so God did not have to influence anyone to do it. Jesus death was prophesied about, but prophesies normally entail something that is known (not predestined) to take place in the future. The one prophesying is not causing the prophesied events to take place. God can naturally cause things to take place if he wants, like he did with the global flood, the return of the son in the last days, etc, but those unique exceptions hardly mean that he causes all things to line up as he wants. Had Judas never betrayed Jesus, this event would not have been prophesied about unless we are talking about a false prophesy which is not from God. It was not GOD who placed the desire to harm Jesus inside Judas but SATAN.

Joh. 13:And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him 

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and FOREKNOWLEDGE of God, YE have taken, and BY WICKED HANDS have crucified and slain? 

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/08/judas-was-not-predestined-to-betray-jesus-acts-428/

9) Acts 13:48 argument that God ordains (forces) individuals to believe in him, whereas the rest have no chance to do the same since God has not provided them with this opportunity

This verse alone does not mention the criteria for God’s choice to ordain individuals, unlike many other verses which clarify that it’s our FAITH that is the criteria. Neither does this verse suggest that God’s appointing is the CAUSE for people’s faith. According to Adam Clarke, the original Greek word ”includes no idea of preordination or predestination of any kind” (”Commentary on Acts 13:48”). The original Greek word simply means “disposed” (to set in position), and therefore the verse could be translated “as many as were disposed (or who set themselves in such a disposition) to eternal life believed”.  Their disposition to receive the gospel is contrasted with the disposition of the Jews just two verse before, and the Jews had chosen another path. So those who judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life did not believe, but those who disposed themselves to eternal life believed, and whether they believed or not depended on whether their heart rejected or accepted the Gospel which was preached to them.

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but SEEING YE PUT IT FROM YOU, AND JUDGE YOURSELVES UNWORTHY of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/12/as-many-as-were-ordained-to-eternal-life-believed-but-they-were-not-forced-acts-1348/

10) Eph 2:8-9 argument where faith is a gift offered to only a few lucky people, leaving the rest for damnation

If we are not able to have faith unless God enables us to have this faith, and if God chooses to prevent people from ever getting faith, then it follows that God alone must be blamed if we do not believe in him. Or do non-elect have the choice to have faith in him? If no, then they are innocent victims in the hands of a cruel God who created them for the sole reason to send them to hell – for not believing in him, which he himself prevented them from doing. Not much within Calvinism makes sense.

We are saved by grace (God’s kindness) but through FAITH – which is a requirement for salvation. The Bible also says that if we love God – which we do if we truly have faith in him – then we OBEY him. Eph. 2-8-9 does not say that faith is a gift but that SALVATION is a gift, and this is certainly true since we cannot cleanse and save ourselves. It is also true that we do not earn our salvation by anything we do (or believe), and that we are not saved by either works alone or faith alone (as Jam. 2:24 states). If we dare to continue to v. 10, we can read that we are created to good works that God has prepared that we should WALK in. What happens if we choose not to walk in those good works? Still saved no matter what?

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/21/faith-is-not-the-gift-of-god-in-eph-28-9-but-salvation-is/

I might return with 10 more common proof text arguments

If God only loves SOME – his elect – why cannot also we love SOME people?

love4

Why not loving only SOME people if our God only loves SOME people?

We are told to love one another because God loved us and to be merciful as him, but if the truth is rather that God only loved SOME of us – his elect – then why would it be wrong for us to act in a similar way by loving and being merciful to only a select few?

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God—11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

The calvinistic view is that God chose some to be elect and others to be non-elect (ending up to be wicked sinners unwilling to repent) from the creation of the world, and surely it wouldn’t be accurate to say that God ”loved” the non-elect since he predestined them to be damned? Some calvinists might insist on that ”he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45) means that God pours out his love and blessings also on the non-elect. However, that’s like saying it’s true ”love” to invite someone out for a delightful picnic with lots of wonderful treats, just to push the same person off a cliff when the dinner is over. (It’s a better choice to trust the Bible which says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish and whose only son died for everyone.)

The Bible says that ”IF God so loved us, we ought to love each other”, but what if he did not love us? Wouldn’t this give us a logical reason to not love everyone? It certainly sounds as though we are only expected to love God if he loves us, and if God fails to do his part (loving us) then we are not bound to do our part either (loving one another). So the point remains the same however you turn it. If it’s ”love” for God to show mercy and good intentions only on some people (creating most people for hell), then why would it be wrong for us humans to act in a similar way by being selective about which ones to love?

Calvinists might protest and say that unlike God we don’t know who is elect or non-elect and therefore we should be merciful and loving to everyone, but wouldn’t this at least show that you would not be speaking the truth if you told non-christians that you (or God) love them? There is a huge risk that they might remain non-christians throughout their lives, and if they died as non-believers it would prove (if we want to be consistent with the ”God-loves-some-doctrine”) that God in fact did not love them but predestined them to be fuel in the fire. So why would you have concern for their souls and love them if God doesn’t love them? Do you have a greater heart than God?

The Bible tells us that there will be few people who find the narrow way that leads to life (Matt. 7:14), and that means that there is a greater chance that God does not love a person than that he loves him/her (again, if we want to be consistent with this doctrine). The Bible however, tells us repeatedly that God ”loves” Israel, despite that some Israelites were later destroyed by God due to being disobedient. Apparently it’s possible to love people who will later perish.

What if we truly behaved just like the calvinistic God – and showed the same kind of ”love” and ”mercy” as he does – and selected some unfortunate individuals to torture and even kill. We would still not reach the same horrible type of love and mercy as the calvinistic God, because he turns people in to non-elect sinners (with no choice whatsoever) and sends them to suffer for eternity. Note, that they won’t suffer due to their sins, but due to having the nerve to be born as the non-elect wicked sinners as God predestined them to be.

Greater love has no man than the one who lays down his life for his friends says John. 15:13, and there are even agnostic/atheistic soldiers who have done this both for friends and for others despite not really knowing them well at all. Many atheists would gladly die for anyone of their children, regardless if the children were good kids or not. Do agnostics have a greater love than Jesus who apparently didn’t lay down his life for all people even though he could? What if a father treated some of his children really well and left the rest to suffer, and defended his case with ”I’m just showing the same type of love as God does”? 

The question is; if God can be selective about the ones he decides to love and be merciful to (by making a certain amount of people elect and much-loved), then why can’t we do the same? Why would it be wrong for us to select certain individuals that we decide to pour out our love on, while turning our backs on the rest? Are we not told to be merciful as God, to be perfect like him, and to love one another just the way God does?

Some verses to studygreatest commandment

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Suffice to say that the loving and merciful God of the Bible is completely different from the made-up calvinistic God, whose ”love” is both frightful and harmful.

Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.—33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, 

Our neighbors might be both believers or unbelievers, but Jesus tells us to love them period.

Ezek. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?—32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Matt. 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.—21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.—11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.—18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.19 We love him, because he first loved us.20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1 King. 10:9 Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

1 Chron. 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

”God has dealt to every man a measure of faith” – concerns spiritual gifts – Rom. 12:3

acts 17 27We are created with the ability to seek and find God

To start with we know from the Bible that God has created us with the ability to SEEK him and FIND him, even though he is not far from any one of us. It’s for this purpose that he has formed us. There is much joy in heaven for each person who repents, because this means that a person has gone from death to life and God doesn’t want anyone to perish.

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 SO THAT THEY SHOULD SEEK THE LORD, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;30 Truly, these timso that they should seek the Lord,es of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this TO ALL by raising Him from the dead.” (NKJV)

John 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world

Ez. 33:11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

If we preach that ”faith is a gift”, there is a risk that people will understand this to mean that God gives ”faith” (faith to believe in God) to some and not to others, since all people evidently don’t have faith in God. This logically results in that people who don’t believe in God are innocent victims, because God did not provide them with enough ”faith” to repent and believe in him. They would have good reasons to be disappointed with God who prevented them from believing. Therefore it’s best to not express ourselves in a way that can easily be misunderstood. (Nevertheless, calvinists do believe that God predestines some to be saved and others to not be saved so they wouldn’t have any reasons to suggest they are misunderstood.)

Many people get healed thanks to THEIR faith

Some christians erroneously believe that the ”gift” spoken about in Eph. 2:8-9 is ”faith”, but in reality the Greek shows that it’s ”salvation” that is the gift as can be seen here. It’s certainly true that we don’t have to pay for our salvation, or that we can merit salvation by anything we do (or believe), because we would be hopelessly lost without the gift offered to us even though we don’t deserve it in the least. Some christians suggest that Rom. 12:3 indicates that God hands out the gift of faith (the ability to believe in God) to SOME people, leaving the rest in darkness, but if that were the case God alone must be blamed for people’s ”choice” to not believe in him since they in reality wouldn’t have any choice in the matter. Rom. 12: 3 actually says that God has dealt to ”every man” the measure of faith:

Rom. 12:3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (KJV)

Note that not all ”faith” spoken about in the Bible is in relation to belief in God but it could also be in relation to a person’s faith in one or more of the spiritual gifts, and that is the topic of Rom. 12. Not all christians have a strong faith in that they can be healed (sometimes they get healed anyway), or that they can prophesy, speak in tongues, etc. Fortunately our faith can grow in this area. Here are some examples of where people’s faith plays an important role when it comes to healing (KJV and NKJV):

Mark 5:24 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

Acts 14:9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.

Luke 17:.17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE.

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, GREAT IS THY FAITH: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Mark. 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE; go in peace, and be faith 3whole of thy plague.

Luke 18:41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: THY FAITH HATH SAVED THEE.43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

Mark 6:4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now HE COULD DO NO MIGHTY WORK THERE, EXCEPT THAT HE LAID HIS HANDS ON A FEW SICK PEOPLE AND HEALED THEM. 6 And He marveled because of their UNBELIEF. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. 

Matthew 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. —13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and AS THOU HAST BELIEVED, SO BE IT DONE UNTO THEE. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Matt. 17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.17 Then Jesus answered and said, O FAITHLESS AND PERVERSE GENERATION, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?20 And Jesus said unto them, BECAUSE OF YOUR UNEBELIEF: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Also 1 Corinthians 12-14 concerns the spiritual gifts. Paul says ”There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit”. He says that the Spirit is distributing these gifts to each one has he wills, but he also tells us to COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts. Too many christians are of the opinion that the spiritual gifts have ceased, but some of them still concede that ”Sure, if God one day hits me with some of these gifts out of the blue, then who am I to object”? Meaning, they wait for God to take action despite of their disinterest and objections to the spiritual gifts, and by being so reluctant they disobey Paul who tells us to EARNESTLY DESIRE the best gifts. Instead of earnestly desire these gifts, they might choose to discourage others from having this type of desire by telling them that the gifts have passed and are not for today. Flee from a pastor who warns you and discourages you from seeking the gifts. Satan is thrilled each time he can disarm a christian person and make him weaker.

If healing, prophesying and speaking in tongues have ceased, then so have faith, wisdom, knowledge and ”discerning of the spirits”, which can be found on the same list. ”Faith” is here listed separately, and it could for instance concern the hopes and expectations that we have when we take the time to pray. If we believe that praying is a more or less a waste of time and that God either doesn’t hear our prayers or that everything is predetermined, then it’s a risk that become weak when we pray (if we pray at all). It could also concern our faith in relation to prophesies and dreams – that God is able to express himself through such means (this could be combined with discerning the spirits) – and that we are able to find ourselves in ”divine appointments” with other individuals in our daily lives which we should make use of. Another example could be when we are trusting in God for providing financial aid in a difficult situation, and there are numerous testimonies from christians who give account of miracles that they have experienced when they are being provided money precisely when needed in a very urgent situation which they have prayed about. If we have a strong faith in that God is able to lead us in our daily life, we have accomplished much and our faith can grow even further. We will understand the power of prayers and that we can be useful tools for others, just like other people can be used by God to enlighten and encourage us.

1 Cor. 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Cor. 12:30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But EARNESTLY DESIRE the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

faith 4The context of Romans 12 – having faith in spiritual gifts

Romans 12 shows us how Paul beseeches the christians in Rome, and all of us, to live holy lives in order to be acceptable to God, and to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

Rom. 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Right after v. 3, where Paul mentioned ”as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”, he explains further what he means by that:

FOR as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

As we can see, Paul has spiritual gifts in mind when he speaks about ”faith” in v. 3 (the previous verse). He says in v. 4  ”let us prophesy in proportion to our faith”, because the truth is that not everyone has the gift of prophesying – often because they don’t even believe in the spiritual gifts . Paul says ”Let us use them”, indicating that some of us are not using our gifts even though they are provided to us, and one reason might be lack of boldness. Which gifts we possess are dependent on our willingness to seek the gifts (as we are told) and which gifts the Spirit provides us (God’s grace). Apart from using faith in relation to prophesy, Paul also mentions ministering, teaching exhorting, giving, leading and being merciful. These are all areas where a strong faith is very useful, and the more we see what God can do, the more our faith can grow and we become more bold – fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Not all of us are for instance teachers, but we can all do something for the Kingdom of God, depending on our personalities, talents, gifts and faith. We are all different members of the same body.

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 

We will be judged by a righteous God – and he knows what we know…osas 10

A person can be healed through faith in his name (either from the one who heals, or the one getting healed, or both). The following verse is both about believing in Jesus, and believing in the power that extends from him  – so that we are able to expect a person getting healed.

Acts 3:16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

If we have a strong faith, we can better endure persecutions and tribulations, and we can better learn the power of a prayer. There is a risk that we might habitually pray but still lack faith in that God will respond. It’s like going in to a store and by the counter ask for a certain product, and when the salesperson says ”Sure, one moment please” and leaves the counter in order to get what you ask for, you stand there with doubts if this person is actually going to return with your product. ”Maybe the product is out of stock, or maybe the salesperson forgot about me or went for lunch?” So you just leave the store without getting the product that you asked for, even though you had the chance and should have endured. We can learn to grow in faith.

2 Thes. 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

If God would hand out various amounts of ”faith” to us , as an ability to even believe in him, it wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to request us to believe in him if he is aware of that some of us lack the faith to do it.

 John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Matt. 14:28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

It’s not biblically sound to answer Jesus ”because you didn’t provide us with enough faith”. What must we do to be saved?

Acts 16:30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I DO to be saved?”31 So they said, “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Paul and Silas didn’t answer ”There is nothing you can do to get saved, apart from hoping that God has given you enough faith to believe in him. Just wait and see”.

We will be judged based on our faith, what we know and learn, if we seek God’s wisdom, our fruit and our conscience:

Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?—17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Rom. 2: 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Luke 10:13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.