Dr. James Ach
It has always been tragic listening to Calvinists explain their evangelism while also maintaining that God saves only those whom He has predetermined to irresistibly choose Him after He regenerates them first and then monergistically causes their belief. This debate is not new, however. It was even one shared between famous Baptist evangelist William Carey and one of his pastors who told Carey that if God be pleased to convert the heathen he will do so without any of the means that Carey employed. It is still a fantastic conundrum how the Calvinist who believes that God has determined all things whatsoever come to pass, that any such persuasion or debate or manner of preaching has any real impact on a potential convert. Calvinists like Paul Washer, Phil Johnson, JD Hall, Tony Miano, et al, often complain about the altar calls and “manipulations” used by pastors to bring forth converts, but if that person isn’t elect, what difference does it make? Is the Calvinist conceding that somehow the preacher can interfere with God’s election by botching the method and message? What’s the point on criticizing how a preacher delivers his message if the person he is preaching at isn’t elect? Interesting though how Calvinists believe that God controls the means of salvation, just not the delivery of the preacher (who is part of the means process)!**
For the Calvinist who actually does attempt to evangelize, it is done out of duty, not compassion (Jude 22-24). Ask a Calvinist why they evangelize if they don’t know who the elect are and they will tell you, “because it’s commanded”. The reason for this kind of response is simple: you can’t really claim to love someone and consistently tell people that God doesn’t love everyone, and be an honest Calvinist. J.I. Packer claimed that “of course” he tells people God loves them even though he doesn’t really believe that. If you tell a sinner you love them, you could be lying to them if they are not elect. So duty compels the Calvinist, not compassion like Paul (Romans 9:1-3 Acts 20:31).
So far we have explained the conundrum (although not the most problematic) for the Calvinist who evangelizes when he does NOT know who the elect and nonelect are. But what about those whom they KNOW are not elect, like say, Muslims!
I’m going to show you a huge problem that Calvinists face if they are consistent with their view of God hating Esau in Romans chapter 9.
Muslims among the Arabs are the children of Edom. I will even cite a Calvinist source to explain the history of Esau
for our critics. You can also read the future of the nations of these people in Psalm 83. Calvinists use Romans 9:13 to prove that God hates the unelect because, as Rom 9 says, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”. We have explained the proper interpretation of Romans 9 in our article on Not All Israel Are Of Israel
? Calvinists don’t like hearing evangelistic Non Calvinists claim that God loves everybody. God is angry with the wicked all day long, and when He sends rain on the unjust, that’s just providential love, not the kind of unconditional love He shows to the elect. To prove this the Calvinist show you how God in fact, does eternally reprobate people because there it is in Romans 9: He hated Esau and loved Jacob.
Now here’s the problem with that, and why it proves that debaters like James White are either egotistical maniacs for bragging about how many moderated debates he’s had with Muslims, and that Calvinists who evangelize Muslims don’t believe their own theology, or they are just that ignorant of the Scriptures.
If the Calvinists actually stuck to their view of Romans 9:13 consistently, it would mean that God hates ALL of the offspring of Edom which makes up ALL of the Arabic Muslims. If Calvinists were consistent with Romans 9:13, then genetically, all of the children of Edom are cursed, eternally reprobated and can NEVER be saved.
I pointed this out to a person in a forum some time ago and he declared, “Well God was only talking about hating the brother of Jacob from the womb”. If true, then why did he just attempt to use it to prove the reprobation of anyone not deemed elect? If it only applies to Esau, then it can’t be used to prove the reprobation of anyone else. If it includes Esau’s children, then Calvinists can’t justify wasting time in which they are supposed to redeem properly (Eph 5:16) by witnessing to a group that their theology clearly demonstrates has ZERO chances of ever getting saved because God hates them eternally if Reformed interpretations or Romans 9:13 are to be taken seriously and consistently. If a Calvinist is aware of this, and continues to debate Muslims, it can’t be because he believes there is a chance that they may be saved, but to inflate the ego. He can’t claim it’s out of duty because as stated above, this is not a situation in which he is unaware of who the elect and nonelect are because if his theology is true, then he at least knows that this particular group of people can never be saved.
Just one of the many, many inconsistencies within Calvinist/Reformed theology.
Another irony are the Calvinists who subscribe to Covenant Theology that think the current Jews living in Israel are not the proper inhabitants of the land of Israel, and that God has apparently given His land to a people that He has eternally hated instead!
**For a brief and brutal treatment of how the free will of the preacher destroys the Calvinist concept of monergism, see our article on Refuting Tony Miano’s Adoption Strawman
, section on The Free Will Of the Preacher.