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The Absurdity Of Calvinism


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Do we have any Calvinists here? I myself used to be a strict 5 pointer. I had no problem believing that God created some people simply for the purpose of going to hell and burning for all eternity. The non elect have no chance at salvation because God just didn't want them to be saved.

 

What convinced me otherwise (while I was still clinging to faith) was that if Calvinism really is true, then the implications of it are that man is not responsible for his actions. Even though no Calvinist would argue this, it is clear that they are defying logic by doing so.

 

Think about it: If God predetermined everything - even actions - then our entire existence is one big charade. Take for example, the doctrine of Unconditional Election - that God chooses some people for salvation not based on anything intrinsic to the person, but rather solely by grace. On the other side of the coin, the logical implication of that is that something called Unconditional Reprobation must also be true, meaning that God chose most people for hell not based on anything intrinsic to the person (not even sin!). So then, man does not burn in hell because he is a sinner, he burns in hell simply because God wanted him to. Sin was simply just the "sign" of the non-elect, whereas "faith" is the "sign" of the elect. Neither come about from man's choice (because he has none), but rather are gifted to the individual by wrath/justice and grace respectively.

 

Knowing this, how can anyone be a Calvinist? I want to know.

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Do we have any Calvinists here? I myself used to be a strict 5 pointer. I had no problem believing that God created some people simply for the purpose of going to hell and burning for all eternity. The non elect have no chance at salvation because God just didn't want them to be saved.

 

What convinced me otherwise (while I was still clinging to faith) was that if Calvinism really is true, then the implications of it are that man is not responsible for his actions. Even though no Calvinist would argue this, it is clear that they are defying logic by doing so.

 

Think about it: If God predetermined everything - even actions - then our entire existence is one big charade. Take for example, the doctrine of Unconditional Election - that God chooses some people for salvation not based on anything intrinsic to the person, but rather solely by grace. On the other side of the coin, the logical implication of that is that something called Unconditional Reprobation must also be true, meaning that God chose most people for hell not based on anything intrinsic to the person (not even sin!). So then, man does not burn in hell because he is a sinner, he burns in hell simply because God wanted him to. Sin was simply just the "sign" of the non-elect, whereas "faith" is the "sign" of the elect. Neither come about from man's choice (because he has none), but rather are gifted to the individual by wrath/justice and grace respectively.

 

Knowing this, how can anyone be a Calvinist? I want to know.

 

I was never a calvinist and, in fact, as a Christian I found the doctrine reprehensible.

 

But I can see why some people would happily embrace the doctrine. If one is a person who has convinced themselves that they are one of the elect, then all their fears of death, hell, wrath of god, etc. are eliminated. And what's more, it eliminates the difficult task of trying to convert the heathen masses since most of them are doomed to hell and no amount of preaching, repentence, acceptance of Christ will change a thing for their lot. It's a doctrine that plays on the selfishness in people and that can be quite attractive.

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Not to be flip, but why would ANYONE be any KIND of christian? It just boggles the mind....

 

Lot's of reasons.... I was one because I was born into it and indoctrinated from a young age. Also, usually when someone converts it is after some sort of life altering event where the person is in some sort of desperation and needs to fill a hole in their life with religion. But I totally get what you're saying - once you open your mind up to the possibility that Christianity might just be a farce, and then you do some personal study - you realize just how absurd the whole system is.

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But if you believe in an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God, you really are a Calvinist. The difference between a Calvinist and other Christians is semantics at that point. Either way, he still knew he was going to be throwing you in hell for eternal torment before you were even born. All of us have life altering incidents. If you knew exactly how people would react to those incidents, you would be in control even if there was such a thing as free will.

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My personal feeling is that you marry free will with predestination and you will also have the answer to the theory of everything.

 

Here's a thought. Can something be so far removed from the souce of an event that free will seems self evident, yet is really just too far away from the event to understand what happened in the event?

 

Somewhat along the same line.....can free will have evolved?

 

For example, you take some law passed in Washington, and it's mandatory for the Washington residents, but then you have children of the residents move to California and they only retain part of the law. And the next thing is the California children move away to Nebraska where there is none of the original law practiced at all.....free will reigns.

 

Coming back to square one, I guess that is what they are looking for somewhat in the Big Bang is the original law/force.

 

Just some abstract thought.....don't beat it to death until you put your own out there for criticism.

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in my veiw its a hard core security measure for these people. but also it apears like it would stress them out alot if they couldent "feel god".

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I remember attending a lecture by R.C. Sproul and he was expounding upon Calvinism. Someone asked him why anyone should bother to preach or witness to the lost since there was all this predestination.

 

Sproul's answer was that we are commanded by Christ to do so. I'm not kidding, that was the only answer he had.

 

Years later I wonder why Christ would have commanded his followers to do something so nonsensical, if he knew about all this doctrine of predestination. It seems likely that he didn't know anything about it or the person who wrote the words "go into all the world and preach the gospel" didn't know about it either.

 

After I finished attending two or three lectures by Sproul, I never wanted to dwell any further on this weird notion of human beings born to be damned, scriptural though it may be. It is reprehensible, disgusting, and very far from the truth.

 

It wasn't long after that when I decided the whole Bible was composed only of man made thought and God (if there was one) had nothing to do with it.

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In the bible predestination means foreknew and NOT forepick! He chose ALL but not all will choose Him.

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In the bible predestination means foreknew and NOT forepick! He chose ALL but not all will choose Him.

 

Kinda hard to avoid 'forpickin' when you are all powerful, can know the outcome and then make the rules that lead to the outcome.

 

A simplified example, if you set up a line of dominoes, the domino at the other end is going to fall over if the first domino is knocked over. You know it, you set it up that way, even if you don't touch the last domino.

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In the bible predestination means foreknew and NOT forepick! He chose ALL but not all will choose Him.

 

Kinda hard to avoid 'forpickin' when you are all powerful, can know the outcome and then make the rules that lead to the outcome.

 

A simplified example, if you set up a line of dominoes, the domino at the other end is going to fall over if the first domino is knocked over. You know it, you set it up that way, even if you don't touch the last domino.

Exactly.

 

If God is the "First Cause" (as the Kalaam argument states), then all effects are essentially ultimately caused by God. God can't be the first cause if there are multiple first causes. Free will is a cause, and presumably, not caused by God, so God is not a "first cause" if that's true.

 

I noticed over the years that religious people wants to eat the cake and have it too, in every single argument.

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Read with me Phillipians 1:6. It says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

 

I suggest reading some good science fiction by Piers Anthony so you can get an idea of what a paradox is. A paradox is simply too things that logically do not seem that they can be true together at the same time, and yet they are equally true. There are no contradictions in the Bible, only paradoxes. And the distinction between predestination and free will, and once-saved-always-saved versus the possibility of losing one's salvation, are paradoxes.

 

The thing that seems to contradict Phillipians 1:6 in scripture is found in Romans 11:20-22, which says: "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherewise thou also shalt be cut off."

 

If you study and compare these verses together, I think you will see that you cannot be confident that Jesus will complete a good work in you unless you also have a healthy fear of losing your salvation.

 

And the thing about predestination and free will: the answer is that it is predestination according to foreknowledge (Romans 8:29). It is like a person who goes to the races knowing which horse will win and then betting on that horse. The author of any book knows the outcome eventually because he knows the characters. The book writes itself because of who the characters are, and the outcome is practically set in stone because the characters will always make the same choice based on any given situation. God is the kind of author that sees the end from the beginning, and He chooses you based on whether you ultimately receive or reject Christ.

 

The paradox of Calvinism versus Armenianism is that both are equally true. Man is predestined and yet has a free will. Once-saved-always-saved as long as you abide in Christ (see John 15). Jesus died for all of mankind and yet only a few receive Him and therefore only they have been chosen. And so on.

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This statement is true.

The statement above is false.

The statement above is false.

The statement above is false.

The statement above is false.

The statement above is false.

The statement above is false.

...

 

You never heard about self-referencing paradoxes?

 

Does God know what God's going to do before he does it?

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This statement is false. Therefore, does it automatically follow that it is true? No. You may try to say that it is true by saying that the opposite of false is true and therefore if it is false that the statement is false, it must be true. In all reality this is an absurd question that deserves no attention, but I will say this: Jesus said you are either for me or against me, and there is no neutral ground there, while there may be a neutral territory in the above question that we are not aware of.

 

For example, demons cannot speak the truth, but they might tell you the opposite of a lie so you will eventually believe the lie. Think about that one.

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I'd be a fool if I thought I could delve into the depths of the heart of God to find out whether He premeditates everything or not. There is scripture to support both sides on this issue.

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This statement is false. Therefore, does it automatically follow that it is true? No. You may try to say that it is true by saying that the opposite of false is true and therefore if it is false that the statement is false, it must be true. In all reality this is an absurd question that deserves no attention,

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Self-reference (paradox)

 

but I will say this: Jesus said you are either for me or against me, and there is no neutral ground there,

Sure there is. The neutral ground is that Jesus never said it.

 

while there may be a neutral territory in the above question that we are not aware of.

There is not.

 

For example, demons cannot speak the truth, but they might tell you the opposite of a lie so you will eventually believe the lie. Think about that one.

Thinking.... you're deluded to believe in demons and Santa Claus. Grow up.

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In the bible predestination means foreknew and NOT forepick! He chose ALL but not all will choose Him.

 

Kinda hard to avoid 'forpickin' when you are all powerful, can know the outcome and then make the rules that lead to the outcome.

 

A simplified example, if you set up a line of dominoes, the domino at the other end is going to fall over if the first domino is knocked over. You know it, you set it up that way, even if you don't touch the last domino.

Exactly.

 

If God is the "First Cause" (as the Kalaam argument states), then all effects are essentially ultimately caused by God. God can't be the first cause if there are multiple first causes. Free will is a cause, and presumably, not caused by God, so God is not a "first cause" if that's true.

 

I noticed over the years that religious people wants to eat the cake and have it too, in every single argument.

 

Even if he can wash his hands of free will, he knew the outcome and had the power to affect it and yet chose not to. There is no way this god of omnis can escape responsibility for pain and suffering and evil and most importantly, something as horrendous as billions of people sent to hell as the result of the rules he created; people who wouldn't have suffered had he simply just chose not to create them since he 'foreknew' the outcome.

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Even if he can wash his hands of free will, he knew the outcome and had the power to affect it and yet chose not to. There is no way this god of omnis can escape responsibility for pain and suffering and evil and most importantly, something as horrendous as billions of people sent to hell as the result of the rules he created; people who wouldn't have suffered had he simply just chose not to create them since he 'foreknew' the outcome.

Agree.

 

I think the evolution of the image of the Christian God has gone out of control. They want him to be so powerful, all-knowing, and superior in everything, that it gets to conflicting ideas that can't be resolved. It's like they want the fastest sports car in the world that has a trunk that's the size of 50 semi-trucks. Certain things don't go together, and they can't see it. Their God is the biggest and baddest dad that can beat your day, so there... it's nothing but empty words of a child in a sand-box. "My dad can beat up your dad, nay nay nay..." :rolleyes:

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Then, as we see in this thread, when his attributes contradict their claims, they call it a paradox.

And by calling it a paradox, they think they're out of the dilemma. But the problem is, his definition of "paradox" is not accurate. Some paradoxes are true because they look like paradoxes but really are not. But most paradoxes are solved by finding that one or more of the premises are wrong to start with. That's the more common solution to a paradox, not that paradoxes somehow always are true and still contradictory.

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