The deception of Calvinism “… Therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life… ” Choose Life, contrary to Calvin’s assertion.
Philosophers have attempted to reconcile casual determinism with “Free Will,” for centuries. But the first major philosopher to argue convincingly for some indeterminism may have been Aristotle in the first century. How in the 16th century, John Calvin determined he had been gifted a new revelation and we are all Zombies programmed, with no ability to chose, nor reject, the call of God in our severely restricted, wretched, puppet lives. I can not answer. Our existence, he surmised, though we, having been made in the image of God, are doomed to remain in a continuous cycle, careening off the walls, within the confines of our windup toy box. Did God who having said, “Whatever they can imagine they will accomplish if allowed to work together,” create us with intelligence, then decide we would never be allowed to make our own decisions without someone or something yanking our chains? NO.
Science does not like random events. It seeks to quantify and understand the order of things. But Calvin was no scientist, religion is metaphysical.
Hawking states, “The classical view, put forward by Laplace, was that the future motion of particles was completely determined, if one knew their positions and speeds at one time. This view had to be modified, when Heisenberg put forward his Uncertainty Principle, which said that one could not know both the position, and the speed, accurately. However, it was still possible to predict one combination of position and speed. But even this limited predictability disappeared, when the effects of black holes were taken into account. The loss of particles and information down black holes meant that the particles that came out were random. One could calculate probabilities, but one could not make any definite predictions. Thus, the future of the universe is not completely determined by the laws of science, and its present state, as Laplace thought. God still has a few tricks up his sleeve.” Hawking
Christ came to earth at the time appointed before the earth was formed. “The lamb that was slain before the foundation of the earth.” And also, 1 Peter, 1:20 “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” Christ will return at an appointed time.
Let’s address Romans, 9:11: “… for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls.” This scripture has not only been taken out of context, it has been twisted to say something which it clearly does not. What is this chapter about? We’ll start at the top. Verse 1. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” Paul is referring to Israel. Not his spiritual brothers, but rather his genetic tree from which Christ also came. (“My kinsmen according to the flesh.”) verse 4 … who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Paul lists his affinity for the nation of Israel and his desire that he himself were accursed if it would then allow the Jewish nation to be redeemed. Christ did that. Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” No other can accomplish this. Paul is simply stating the depth of his love for his nation as a parent does for a child, or as some will desire for dead or dying loved ones.
Verse 6 “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Above, again Paul clarifies further of whom he is speaking. Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation… ” Genesis, 18:9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” Now, Sarah doubted and tried to help God out by offering her maidservant as a surrogate thus two nations sprang from Abraham. One of the promise, and one of the flesh.
Genesis, 21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.”
It is very clear to whom Paul referring to in this chapter. The children of promise. Not those who were to be saved. This is why Paul is saddened by the fact that, while offspring which would become the Jewish nation was promised, salvation was not given to all descendants because they did not believe. Hebrews, 3:19. “So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” Salvation is and always was by faith, by believing in Gods work and grace. Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness. Salvation is individual, not national.
So, who are the chosen in Romans, 9:11? “… for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls.” Who are the elect referred to here? Those Sarah elected to produce through a surrogate because of doubt? No. In this section of scripture it refers to the natural offspring of Abraham through Isaac. There are other scriptures that use the word elect. So, let’s address exactly what is being said when Christ and others refer to the “elect.”
Elect means Chosen. Matthew, 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” What is being said when we read the words, elect, chosen? They are the same word. Elect, Chosen = ἐκλεκτός, ἐκλεκτή, ἐκλεκτόν (ἐκλέγω), picked out, chosen. So God calls many. Those who believe and put their faith in Him are picked out, chosen, elected and become the “Bride of Christ.” Who makes it to the wedding feast? How does one prepare? We will not find the “Kingdom of Heaven” in spaceships, nor by way of inter dimensional travels. We can not work our way there by perfect behavior and adherence to a set of rules. It is by faith. By faith in the work of God through the sacrifice of His Son.
Romans, 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. And yet… “Many are called and few are chosen”. Matthew, 22:14 Paul’s statement above is either not true, or someone misinterpreted it. If He justified those individuals He called, how can many be called and few chosen? 2nd Peter, 1:11. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We must believe and respond. Belief alone is not enough. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19
Now let’s examine Ephesians chapter 1.
Verse 3 – 5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will… First. He uses the words, us, we, so we know he is speaking of a group. Which group? Clearly to believers about believers. The church at Ephesus. The faithful, believers, the chosen. And, to this group of believers, these faithful, what is the message? Well, that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that exists in heaven. “Flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God.” So, of necessity we receive a new Flesh and bone body. ( Not to make an issue of this because I have not done enough research on this. Was there blood in His body, because it was poured out for sin upon the cross. (Luke 24:39, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” And here, Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the creature is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11) 1 Corinthians 15:42. “So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” Next he states that He/God chose believers as a group before the earth was formed. This also makes sense, since as we saw above, Christ was slain before the foundations of the earth and revealed at the chosen time. He says we are to be made holy and blameless through the sacrifice of Christ for His purpose.
God had a plan. Before Satan tempted Eve and the resulting fall, God foresaw this happening and provided the sacrifice.
Verse 6 – 9. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”
He made us accepted in the beloved/Christ. We are redeemed by by the sacrifice of Christ and are forgiven, for God, is so rich in grace. He has bestowed on us bountiful grace in his wisdom and prudence. He has told us, He has revealed to us what Abraham and old testament believers did not see. The Christ, His new covenant in keeping with His purpose before creation, for His own pleasure. God was not fooled by Satan. Satan was thwarted and defeated by Christs sacrifice before events began to manifest in the physical universe.
Verses 10 – 12. That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Again, at a preordained time, His plan to gather everything in Christ, both in heaven and on earth, in whom we also, have obtained an eternal inheritance, we according to Gods plan, by His effort to save us is to His praise and glory. The first fruits of mankind that put their faith in Christ.
Verse 13 -14. … In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. After we trust and believe the “Good News,” we are sealed with the promise. What promise? Romans, 8:23 “… And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” The promise of a new eternal, spiritual body when our adoption is finalized. All that is promised to us in heaven. What that consists of,? I don’t know. We are told in, 1 Corinthians, 2:9. Rather, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Verses 19 – 23 “… and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
What is the greatness of Gods power? How does it benefit us? He accomplished his plan through Christ. When Adam sinned and death entered it was not the defeat of God, but rather the defeat of mankind in a natural body.it initiated a first step in Gods plan for redemption. It was foreseen and inevitable. Not a problem. God knew and had prepared before it began. Christ would take human form, atone by shedding His blood in sacrifice, thereby defeating death physically in a body such as Adam inhabited. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews, 2:14 And, Hebrews, 9:16. “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” God’s plan, His desire always was to be in a “Love” relationship with His souls. They could not chose Him if they were incapable of experiencing life. We were placed in a body, with a mind, that allowed for true love, not slavish, apish behavior. We are Brothers of the son. “Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:46. Yes this is true, yet we must remember, we are brothers to the King of Kings.
Philippians, 2:7 – 8. Christ changed bodies from spiritual to earthly when He came to allow for death. He was eternal before that.“…But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The elect, the chosen are the church, the Body of Christ as a whole.
Christ is King of Kings, the firstborn from the dead. He is the head. God is in control. Always has been, always will be. The misguided assertion that God is unjust, and man has no free will to respond neither positively nor negatively is not true. It is a deception many have fallen into and it can lead into complacency and sin when one believes they are saved and can never fall.
We are more than cells, more than pre-programmed particles. Calvinists may desire to believe in casual determinism, but we become more than the sum of our chemistry, when God breathes the spirit of life into us. Genesis, 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.“ The physical components of our natural containers were complete yet remained uninhabited, unanimated until God imbued life.
We are not a body, it is a vehicle designed to support a spirit. It is a vehicle in which a new soul has experiences to live and choices to make. We are exhorted to exercise control over our body, our nature, our flesh, not to simply respond to, or follow natural impulses, proclivities and stimuli. We do not drift downstream.
John, 3:16 according to Calvinists
For God so loved just a few people in the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever He forces to believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
36. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son because they are not allowed to, will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Luke, 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, (tough luck if I didn’t chose him,) let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Rev, 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me, but… he is still going to hell if I don’t love him.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
God foreordained a Church, a body of believers. The individuals are the ones who are invited and show up for the wedding feast. Mat, 22:2 The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.
1st Peter, 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Again, speaking to and about the Church. That generation of the Church. Remember the elect is the same word as chosen. eklektos is used 23 times. Elect 16 times. Chosen 7 times.