Monday, November 14, 2011

Failure to Understand both Calvinism and One's Own Doctrine ...

I saw the following comment from a lay apologist of the Roman communion recently, directed at one of my fellow Calvinists:
If I am going to hell and presdestined to do so, then you don't have to pray for me or even have any love at all, according to your warped, hideous, grotesque version of Christianity. You can even hate me.

If THIS is what Christianity means, I would rather be an atheist. 
Of course, Thomism (which is supposedly acceptable within Rome's communion) and even Molinism also teach that certain people are going to hell and predestinated to do so.  That's not a unique aspect of Calvinism.

Moreover, as in Thomism and Molinism, in Calvinism one is not relieved of one's obligations to pray for someone or love them simply because of God's secret decree of reprobation.

The comment quoted above reflects a fundamental failure to understand Calvinism.  It shows that the person does not grasp even the simple concept that, in this life, we do not know who the elect are.  Just because someone is currently a Saul of Tarsus does not mean that they will not one day be a Paul the Apostle (to take an extreme example).

So, the Roman apologist has (a) identified a first set of views that his church deems acceptable, and (b) drawn unfounded conclusions from them.  What should we conclude?  Shall we assume he's just being silly?  Probably not.  The tone of this comment was harshly serious (the apologist even cursed at my fellow Calvinist in a portion of the comment that I haven't reproduced).  It could be that he's just deliberately lying about Calvinism, but what purpose would that serve?  We know what we believe, so we're not likely to be fooled by his mischaracterization.  All that's left is that this poor soul doesn't understand.

We should pray for him, that God would open his eyes.



Natamllc said...

With Saul of Tarsus going about seeking the destruction of God's New House, His people from His resurrection after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, what isn't tenable is the many times he heard the Gospel from them? What is tenable is Paul of Tarsus once he was converted and established in the Truth filled with the same Holy Spirit said some forceful things about others, like:

1Co 16:22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

At what point does the proclamation turn accursed within such a poor soul as he, the lay apologist? Granted, I am with you about praying for him. However we simple do not know nor could we judge whether or not he is one of the Elect, apparently from the things he has written.

Rather than pray for the lay apologist, though, I would think we should encourage your friend along these lines instead, for both your friend and us as well to do as much as opportunity does for us:

Gal 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

If the lay apologist has cursed him, he has cursed us as well!

Rather, I would think, though, we ought to be praying for your friend whom the lay apologist has cursed especially if he is one you can attest to being such as the ones the Apostle Paul writes about, here?

2Th 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
2Th 3:2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

John Bugay said...

Hi T-Fan, FWIW, he removed that comment not long after he posted it. At least, that was the last time I looked; maybe he's repurposed that somewhere.

Nick said...

There's two things I'd like to comment on.

(1) It is not accurate to say a Protestant is allowed "to hate" another person, which also violates the Command to "love your enemies" which Protestants believe. Thus, this comment can be offensive.

(2) In regards to the heresy of Predestination to hell, this is an accurate charge against Calvinism. And it is condemned by the Catholic Church - never taught by Thomism or Molinism - so that's a serious error in the counter-response. The CCC#1037 explicitly says, "God predestines no one to go to hell," as have other Church authorities.

Ron Van Brenk said...

Sure, I'll pray for Dave,

But as I mentioned in my post... will pray for evil against him so that good may come :)
Seems too much good has come to him to rely entirely on the grace of Christ... yet.

For Dave to regard Christ as sufficient. And Romes sacraments as inept.
A truth that "my buddy's" wife is beginning to see.

Now, as I mentioned in the first part of that "Do NOT Pray" series- there are several times when we are commanded NOT to pray for people. And Dave's recourse to 1Tim. 2:1 does not stand up to proper scrutiny. Will be addressing a response him later tonight on that.

Will lovingly try to teach Dave a sufficient Gospel.
And pray (as did Gerstner for his apostate students) that Dave "never actually understood The Gospel".
And thus never did actually "fall away" from it. So that it is possible to renew him to repentance.

A harsh prayer, but a prayer nonetheless.


Francis Turretin said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Nick.

Francis Turretin said...

I didn't see your post, nor - to my recollection, do I know who you are. That said, I just meant that I would like your prayer's for this particular apologist's soul.

ChaferDTS said...

Nick do you believe that the unregenerate will end up in the lake of fire one day ? Point # 1034 teaches the lost go to hell. How is this any different than Calvinism since in your own Semi-Pelagianism it still has some men who will be eternally condemned ? Even in the RCC we have men going either to heaven directly or purgatory for an undefined period of time to atone for their sin prior to entering heaven for believers or hell for all unbelievers. In Romans 9:21-22 the vessels of wrath which are lost God is passive in their damnation. God by passed and left them in just condemnation for their sin of which they are held accountable by God for. Mankind fell and got condemned in Adam as he is the federal head representative of fallen humanity. We have the imputation of his sin to the entire human race, original sin passed down to all human beings which is intself sin since we all have a corrupted sin nature and we have personal sin. Thus all humanity are guilty of sin with the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our sin nature came from us being the offspring of Adam. I do not believe that God created a sin nature in any human being. The point remains some will enter heaven and some will remain in eternal condemnation for their sin.

Nick said...

Not only the unregenerate, but the regenerate who turn to grave sin will end up in the lake of fire: "the cowardly, the *unbelieving*, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake" (Apoc. 21:8). Notice how "unbelieving" is but one of the many sins that can consign one to hellfire.

You asked, "How is this any different than Calvinism...?" Double Predestination teaches God's plan to carry out the salvation and damnation of every person He would created resides solely in His hidden will - in other words God decides to save or damn apart from the good or evil they would do, and instead uses good or sin to carry out that predetermined plan. This is typically taught within the framework of Supralapsarianism (Supra=beyond; lapsarian=sinning [in Eden by Adam]), where some Protestants teach God wanted Adam to sin *precisely* so that all mankind would Fall, and used that Fall as a means to put the reprobate on the road to hell (including not giving them any grace to avoid sin in their lives).

In "Single Predestination," this means whomever is saved in the end is because God in His mercy wanted them to persevere and actively did whatever it would take so they would persevere. Those who are damned are damned because God foresaw they would reject His grace, then allows them to carry out whatever sin they'd need to commit to get damned, and thus lets them basically hang themselves with their own rope. In this account, God is not decreeing an individual is to be damned prior to what sins they would commit, but rather precisely because of those freely chosen sins.

I'm not sure why you bring up (Semi)Pelagianism, considering that heresy applies to Luterhanism/Calvinism, not Catholicism.

Natamllc said...



"... where some Protestants teach God wanted Adam to sin ..."


"...God in His mercy wanted them to persevere ...".

God did not not want Adam to sin. God created Adam so that he could not, before he fell or after he fell; or, any and all of his posterity after their beginning and fall, resist evil, the evil forces of darkness.

God did not not want them to persevere. No one is capable of persevering against the evil forces of darkness, Adam and all others.

This world lies in the lap of the wicked one. He it is who is the darkness and dark message in this life.

I don't know if this is a good thing to write but I will do it anyway. "Remember" Adam was a sinless human being and so was Eve before Satan through the snake was allowed to come against their sinless souls. There are no sinless humans; and of the two who were sinless, they of themselves could not withstand the evil forces of darkness in the Garden.

One has to allow the Holy Spirit to bring you into His Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding (divine Grace) to understand these things.

Your whole premise is based in something "you do" when you boil away all the fluff of your argument.

Consider one question.

Was there or will there ever be any sickness in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Francis Turretin said...

In other words, in both cases he decrees it. The question is just why he decrees it, which is all I was claiming.