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.