I once considered myself a Calvinist, and in many regards I still do. I can no longer align myself with many of the others who call themselves ‘Calvinists’ for many reasons, though.
Do I believe in the absolute depravity of men? I do. I was in an accident in March, during which I wiped out of my motorbike during rush hour on a busy street. Did any of the hundreds of cars going by call 911? They did not. Someone did stop, finding me in a pool of my own blood and you know what they did? They took everything of value on my person, including my I.D., my cash, my phone, my jewelry, my boots and leather coat, in fact, the only reason they didn’t take my motorbike was because once on it’s side, one has to know the several tricks required to make it start up again. I do not mention this so you can say “Oh, poor Juliet”. Not at all. And really, it should not have surprised me, either. But here is a good example of the depravity of men. The only reason I did not die in the street is because my Lord made sure that a Fire Rescue truck just ‘happened’ to be going by at the time, saw me, and took me to hospital where I remained in a coma for several days. I didn’t remember any of it; but I knew without being told when I awakened that everything of value I had was gone. No surprise there. Like I said, too, I should not have been surprised at any of it. But here is a clear example of how people without God function in the world. Just as the Good Samaritan stopped and rendered aid to the poor man who had been robbed and beaten, the bad Samaritans did what comes naturally to them. They took whatever they could and left me, presumably to die.
So there in that little tale lies the heart of the matter. Without the new life, man is depraved. He will do what comes naturally to him. Just as the one who possesses the new life will do what the new nature enables him to do. Had a true child of God come upon me, undoubtedly they would have taken my body from the middle of the street, called 911, and most likely would have waited until aid arrived.
Most, if not all of the Calvinist’s I know would say that this was ordained by God. They way I see it, God rescued me. He made sure that I was close to a red light and not zooming along when I had my petit mal seizure which is what I believe caused the accident, as I have had them in the past. He also made certain that there would be help arriving, so I would not die in the road. If God had wanted to take me then, of course He could have done so. He did not. I am still not certain why this happened, (it could just easily be the sort of thing that happens in a fallen world every day) but I just don’t believe that God ‘made it happen’. I believe that God uses evil for His purposes, but not that he is the Author of it. Calvinists don’t see it like that, and if you dare to disagree with them, you will soon find yourself an enemy, or they will tell you that you cannot possibly be saved unless you agree.
I don’t see what the point of a world where God is the cause of everything could possibly be. If He is just the Puppetmaster, than really the whole thing becomes absurd. On the other hand, I do believe there are many things which are not given to man to know. How could we know what God knows? We are not God.
Truly, God knows the end from the beginning. This does not mean, however, that we are merely puppets and are acting out a script which He has written in the minutest detail. If this were so, then I surely do not know God!
And yet, I do. He has shown me the utmost kindness and love from the time of my childhood. He has told me things, taught me things, and has saved my life on more than one occasion.
If you read the article which Bookmyar wrote, I am sure you can understand why I am divorcing myself from the Calvinist community on the internet. These are some of the most unloving and unkind people I have known. (I don’t mean all of them, either… I have met some amazing Christians whose doctrine I believe to be sound, and yet you will never hear them glorying in the judgements of God with nary a word of His lovingkindness and grace. Quite the opposite, in fact.)
No, God is not the Author of Evil. If He were, He would be the devil wouldn’t He? God is love, pure love, and while He is also perfectly just it does not give Him pleasure to have little children raped nor does He plan for that. He may permit it to happen for His own reasons, which clearly have not been given us to know, but I can assure that if you look at Christ in the gospels, you will find the most loving and kind and sinless man/God. Why is Jesus so beloved after millennia? Because of His wondrous love and sweetness.
Mind you, because I have no doctorates in theology and am just a layman, those who do will read my words and think what an ignorant little girl I must be.
And so how do you account for all the illiterate people who have been saved? I daresay they were not Calvinists, they could not even read the Bible! God saves those He has compassion upon, and mercy on whom He has mercy on. I trust that whatever God does, it is going to be perfect as He is perfect.
I don’t know about you, but my God does not have little children raped.
He does chastise His children, and the wrath of abides upon the unsaved, and yet “All things work together for good with them that are called by God according to His purposes”. I don’t understand these Calvinists.
Jesus told us to be like little children; to trust Him the way a child trusts. That is exactly what I am going to do. I am not going to wrack up doctorates and think myself superior to those who do not have their knowledge. I am going to continue to read and study the Word of God and pray for growth. To be more loving, more forgiving, and more like our Lord and Saviour.
I am sorry, but trying to picture Jesus ordering one of the disciples to go and ‘rape that child for his sins’ is not in my abilities.
God is good. In Him is no darkness or shadow of turning.
I may not understand a lot of things, but the one thing I do understand is that God has preserved me, He has saved my life repeatedly, He has taught me all of the good things I know. I could never have survived in this world without Him.
God does not ‘ordain’ torture and rape and murder’! If He did, what would make Him someone we should love and worship?
Shame on those of you who would think such a vile thing! His eyes are too pure to even behold evil, much less be the mastermind of it!