Monday, November 02, 2009

Why All Christians are Calvinists (and don’t know it)--Part 2

Theological Necessity

My conclusion will be this: Arminian theology logically and theologically requires Arminians to believe God elects every person whom gets saved (and does not elect those not saved). Or, to put it in other words, if you don’t believe in individual election (Calvinism), then you must compromise orthodox Christianity. (I’ve never had anyone disprove this. In fact, even many well known Arminians have admitted this fact and have openly compromised orthodoxy)

Here's the argument. I will NOT assume any uniquely Calvinistic assumptions. (1) God knows everything, including the future, my desires, our opinions and background. God is omniscient. (2) God is omnipotent. He can arrange circumstances, give me ideas, etc. [Yet, Arminians will say God can do this without infringing on “free will”].

These two orthodox positions then lead to the following: God knows what would “convince” me to believe, whether a book, a conversation, an idea, or a set of circumstances. Furthermore, if he is omnipotent, he can arrange such circumstances such that a person will be convinced. Therefore, God chooses to act, arranging situations or giving ideas, OR he doesn’t. God knows the “persuasive power” of his actions, thus he essentially elects some people or doesn’t elect individuals simply on whether He acts or doesn’t act. [Again, notice I’ve only used Arminian assumptions]

Here’s a key point: God’s choosing not to act IS de facto a decision to act in another way. He knows the results of his activity and inactivity. In his foreknowledge, He knows that His choosing NOT to act will have consequences just as much as his choosing TO act. Both are His decisions. Thus, the results are in his sovereign hands.

If you refuse to accept this conclusion, then in order to be theologically consistent, you have to redefine (and thus compromise) omniscience OR omnipotence. Open Theists explicitly deny God knows the future. They admit that foreknowledge necessarily leads to choosing. On the other hand, if you compromise on the meaning of “sovereignty”, then you become more and more like a deist (believing that God created the world like a watchmaker, not actively involved in the world, just letting it run). This is heresy and obviously anti-Biblical. Fortunately most Arminians I know and love live better than their theological principles.

It does not solve the problem to say God looks into the future and “elects” those He foreknows will believe. This completely ignores the fact that those future actions are inevitable responses to what God chooses to do or NOT to do between creation and the time of their choices.

Consider the following verses: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.” (Luke 10:13-14)

Notice, Jesus knew what would save Tyre and Sidon. However, he didn’t go to them. As a result, they too will be judged. These verses demand our reflection.

If you believe in God’s omniscience and omnipotence, you must inevitably accept God’s sovereignty in individual election.
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