Posts Tagged ‘Infralapsarian’

Dr James Ach and J/A

In a few recent articles*, we have exposed Calvinists for using dishonest rhetoric to maintain credibility among churches and the Christian community at large. James White, of Alpha & Omega Ministry, shows us again how Reformers-as many modern Calvinists refer to themselves as-employ the use of misleading lingo in order to stay relevant in a culture already blown about with every wind of doctrine.

White often claims to have coined a term “Theology Matters”, and we would certainly agree with that. So far so good. But the problem is that theology is not the only important thing to God, and we doubt White would disagree with that; in fact, he would probably retort that if one’s theology is right then a proper character should follow, and we would agree with that, too. However, we must emphasize that character is important because Calvinists don’t seem to think that they need to tell the truth about what they really believe in, or risk being viewed as mean, unloving, cultish, as well as expressing a view of God and “love” that most people find detestable and unacceptable.

White posted the following quote on his website with a picture of what presumably is a man who attacked four police officers in New York.

Theology Matters: Graphic Example

Callisto1947_2014-Oct-24Combine a wrathful God, a strict law, capricious forgiveness, no emphasis upon justice and equity and the fulfillment of God’s law as reflected in His nature, with the fatal exclusion of a Mediator who can show us God’s mercy and love and grace in perfection, and here is the result. Few things prove the truth of this more clearly: THEOLOGY MATTERS.

At face value, the above quote seems innocuous and theologically sound. The problem is, is does this reflect what Calvinists and James White actually believe? And if not, then why continue using rhetoric that is unsupported by Calvinist theology? Let us explain some points here that support our accusation.

Justice and Equity?

Equity (meyshar, Prov 1:3) is  a legal term. When Roman and English jurisprudence was developed, judges sometimes ran into problems in the court room of deciding an issue of law where there was no clearly established rule or governing principle. The Hebrew concept of meyshar was the wisdom of a mediator to bring justice that made the parties involved whole or “leveled the playing field”. Solomon demonstrated this kind of wisdom in suggesting to divide a disputed child in two (1 Kings 3:25). In American jurisprudence there is a federal statute  at 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that allows for legal actions “at law AND EQUITY [action in law, suit in equity]” that permits a court to grant relief using discretion that the strict letter of the law may not cover.

Applying this principle theologically, however, is problematic for Calvinism because equity is used to exercise discretion in “gray areas” or adiaphora (matters in Scripture that have no clearly defined rule where morality can not be proscribed by simply pointing to a verse on “that” specific issue).  If God had “determined all things whatsoever come to pass” as the Calvinists confessions claim, equitable discretion is not possible. Calvinism is not known for claiming to color outside of the lines of moral responsibility; it’s either black or white. It’s a governing principle behind much the Calvinists who employ Nouthetic counseling.

Yet I don’t believe that Calvinists themselves have really thought it through when they claim to believe in justice and equity. They can usually “defend” the justice of God-in their own way-but I’m not sure if Calvinists really understand the inconsistency between Calvinist determinism and the principles of equity. The concept of equity is completely incongruent with Calvinism because it permits God to “change His mind” as He did with the Ninevites in Jonah 3:8-10. Calvinists assume that God doing anything differently than what they perceive has already been determined would be an adherence to Open Theism. Although this is an absurd claim, it’s one that shows that Calvinists develop their Biblical views around their philosophy, instead of developing their philosophy around the Bible. If Jonah said God did something other then what He said He would do, and did so because of a response that depended upon human repentance, then the serious Bible student has to begin with what Scripture says, and build on that, not what some creed or confession claims and then interpret Scripture based upon said traditions.

White also explains theodicy in terms of “permission”. God restrains evil and permits a certain amount of evil for His glory. However, it is erroneous to hold that God determines all events and yet at some point in time grants permission for event to take place. Permission implies that an event in time COULD HAVE happened differently had it not been for God’s permitting it to happen otherwise. Yet if all events have already been determined, then the concept of permission would be redundant to Calvinist theology, and gives the Calvinist the same problem as equity.

With The Fatal EXCLUSION of a Mediator

Do not Calvinists claim that sinners are determined to live in and by the nature that God has given them? Why then expect sinners to act differently? If God determined that Cain would kill Abel, why should anyone be surprised that Cain committed murder? Why not thank God and rejoice for causing these sinful creatures to do His will! These murderers are doing exactly what God wants them to do because He determined them to do so, or at least (if you don’t claim to be “hyper Calvinist”) He gave them a nature that He never intended on saving, and of which will never be able to do anything other than the evil it has been programmed to carry out (this compatibilist explanation for human responsibility is how Calvinists avoid the so-called [and quite imaginary] “hyper” Calvinist label, although the results inevitably still leads to exhaustive determinism. The “hyper” term is a sleight-of-hand trick to make you stop looking at the inconsistency, if you stop thinking about the contradiction and focus instead on the imaginary scarecrow called “Hyper” then presto, problem solved!).

So yes, we certainly agree with White, that when Christ is excluded, men do heinous things. But, according to Reformed theology, these sinners are really acting in perfect obedience to God because they are doing precisely what He has fitted them to do. So why do Calvinists complain so much when sinners are being obedient to God? In fact, I’d say sinners are far more obedient to God than most Christians. At least Flip Wilson can honestly say that God gave him the nature and desires that he has if Calvinism is true. What’s the Christians excuse? If God determines the blasphemy of the sinner, does He also determine the recalcitrance of the saints? I mean, after- all, doesn’t Eph 2:10 say that the believers works are ORDAINED?

..Who Can Show Us His Love And Mercy

And now we arrive at the pet peeve I have against Calvinism. STOP TELLING SINNERS ABOUT GOD’S LOVE WHEN YOU DON’T MEAN IT OR BELIEVE IT. No honest and consistent Calvinist believes that God loves everybody. Consistent Calvinism maintains that Christ died ONLY for the elect (particular redemption or limited atonement). James White debated Dr. Michael Brown on this very issue. White has plainly stated that God does not love everyone, and admitted that it was the question of Christ’ intention on the cross after reading Palmer’s “Five Points of Calvinism” that led him to become a “full 5 pointer”, in the which if Christ’s intention was to save everyone, then everyone would be saved, but since everyone isn’t saved, then Christ must not have intended to save everyone. Although his reasoning here is backwards (not to mention fails to distinguish provision from application) because it forces Christ’s intentions to be based on an a posteriori hypothesis making the outcome prescriptive, it provides insight into White’s mens rea in committing the spiritual felony of uttering false information to prospective converts.

Of course, when the Calvinists are cornered on the issue of God’s love, they will use misleading rhetoric by spelling out that God loves people differently (an argument that White used against Dave Hunt***). But if even that is what they believe, then why not just say so instead of mixing the love of God in general terms with the wrath of God as if the contrast has a salvific meaning to a sinner?. When you see “love of God” used in contexts like what you see above, and in such general terms, it sure doesn’t sound like the Calvinist is trying to tell the sinner ” Oh by the way, God doesn’t love every one …..equally”. Why don’t they just be honest and tell them that God merely sends a gardener to water their lawn (“rain on the just and the unjust” **). Now I personally have a problem with someone that tells me that they love me even as a friend or “providentially” or hate me, and then waters my garden, but that’s the non sense Calvinists expect us to swallow when they attempt to explain Limited Atonement and Unconditional Election. They expect you to believe that God hates the sinner but shows love at the same time by watering his garden. That’s not love, that’s Bipolar Disorder. But, they know that most of the world has a common understanding of what love is, so to accommodate the listeners they use dishonest rhetoric to avoid having their motives questioned for using “funny language”.

We can debate the theology of preterition or atonement ’til the cows come home, and neither of us will budge. So we don’t expect White or other Calvinists to change their views, we are just simply asking them TO BE HONEST IN THEIR PRESENTATIONS. Tell people what you REALLY believe first and forthright instead of using dishonest and misleading rhetoric that you think and believe they will understand only to later on send them an April Fool’s post card with a map to the golden chain of redemption on the back.

This is probably a big reason why Calvinists ALWAYS claim they are misrepresented and misunderstood. It’s partly because they can’t be honest about what they really believe. One has to wonder is this part of the Calvinist ploy to take over Baptist churches and colleges? Conquer by deceit? It certainly smacks of just more similarities between Calvinism and Islam (in addition to Islamic views on sovereignty, determinism, election, love and responsibility). But if Calvinists genuinely expect to have meaningful dialogue with their opponents, then they need to start being forthright and honest about what they truly  believe about their theology, because as much as theology matters, so does character:

Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men. 2 Cor 3:2

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God loves sinners and desires that they be saved.  ~Paul Washer”

God hates sinners” Paul Washer

 STOP LYING!!!!!!!

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*Watch The Language-Recognizing Cultic Rhetoric Used By Calvinists

**Calvinists claim that this (Matthew 5:45) is an example of “providential” love, that God provides love for sinners in His “providence” for them. However, Jesus used this story to explain a REDEMPTIVE love-“that YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN”. Christ does not speak of a different kind of rain. Jesus didn’t say that the “elect” get fresh mountain water but the unelect get rust water. THE WATER THAT BOTH JUST AND UNJUST GET IS THE SAME, JUST AS THE LOVE HE SHOWS IN HIS OFFER OF REDEMPTION IS THE SAME. The Calvinists have focused on the analogy as if Jesus was giving farming lessons, instead of examining this passage in the actual context of which Jesus was trying to express; why a person needs to offer forgiveness beyond what is expected (like the publicans).  Given the context of WHY Jesus said what He did about the rain, there’s just no excuse for the kind of bad “exegesis” that Calvinists force on this passage to impose a philosophy upon the text that is simply isn’t there. Christ is not speaking of any so-called ‘providential love” here, and Calvinists need to stop acting like that’s what this verse means.

*** “And the love God has for His own people, the elect, is different than the love He shows to the creation in general or to rebel sinners outside of His grace in particular.” (James White/Dave Hunt: Debating Calvinism, p.268)

“There is no basis in the Bible for asserting that God’s love knows no levels, kinds, or types.” (ibid, p.267).

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Those who follow Twitter know there is a little troll who spams the IFB #oldpaths hashtag trying to unsuccessfully convert KJVO fundamental Baptists to Calvinism. “Wee Calvin” or Colin Maxwell (Wee, I assume, because of his small theology). He follows IFB members comments on this popular IFB hashtag, and then expounds on them on his blog, adding his own twist and fantasy to the tweeted material.

He’s targeted us a few times, but never responds after we take the time to thoroughly sink his paddle boat. He’s obnoxious, rude, foul-mouthed, and so we treat his responses to the IFB with the same courtesy minus some of the rhetoric (Prov 26:4-5, Titus 1:9-12).

Wee Calvin chose to pick on “L. Ivey” (Twitter.com/liveyneckwear) who quoted his opinion that Matthew 25:41 debunks Calvinism since hell was initially created for the devil and his angels, then the obvious conclusion is that God could not have intended to predetermine anyone to hell. Although this is not a new argument against Calvinism, it is still a goodie, because it’s true. But, Wee Calvin made an effort to defend Calvinism and did probably one of the most eisegetical hack jobs to Scripture I’ve ever seen.

Matthew 25:41 (KJV) reads:

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

And for additional analysis, we are going to throw in Isaiah 5:14:

 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

I guess we could also cite Genesis chapter 1 to show that hell was NOT one of the things created in God’s six days of creation. Since Lucifer did not fall until AFTER creation, then hell being prepared for Lucifer and his angels could not have existed BEFORE creation.

Wee Calvin first attempts to state the “old argument”, and then offers his first rebuttal,

Well, to state the pretty obvious, it does not say that Hell was prepared only for the Devil and his rebellious angels.That is the gist of the old argument, but it is not what the Saviour said.

Seriously? Now just think of how much grammatical sense it would make for Jesus to have said, “depart ye into everlasting fire prepared ONLY for the devil and his angels”? Of course it doesn’t say “only” because Jesus is speaking of a PRESENT warning based on a place that was prepared for Satan. Wee Calvin’s argument is IRRELEVANT. That text does not HAVE to include the word “only” in order to convey that hell was initially created ONLY for Satan and his angels.

The reason that hell was created for ONLY the devil and his angels is obvious: because Lucifer and the angels were CREATED BEFORE HUMANS and BEFORE HUMAN SIN. There was no need to include humanity in hell because Lucifer fell before Adam did. Hence, hell was prepared for Satan, but not for any of humanity. The only reason that Calvinists need to this to not be true is because Calvinism would have to claim that God DID create hell for humans in order to prove that He intended on sending the majority of His creation to hell by a predestinated eternal decree of reprobation. If the Calvinist can’t show in Scripture that God did not INTEND on including humans in hell PRIOR TO THE FALL OF ADAM, then that alone destroys the entire concept of Calvinist preterition.

Point 2 of Wee Calvin’s horrific response goes:

If such were the case i.e. that the everlasting fire of Hell was prepared only for the Devil and the angels, then does God deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) when He bids the wicked above to depart as curséd to that dread place? Is God indeed a man that He should repent i.e. change His mind, after all? (1 Samuel 15:29)

What on earth does this have to do with whether or not hell was or wasn’t created for ONLY the devil and his angels? It’s based on a question-begging fallacy and circular reasoning, i.e., it must not be true because my warped theology says it isn’t true, and therefore God can not deny Himself and therefore it’s not true.

Furthermore, Wee Calvin has a disturbed view of God’s repentance, because Scripture is FULL of examples where God in fact DOES change a course of action that HE SAID HE WOULD DO, and the story of Jonah is a PERFECT example of this no matter how much Calvinists would like to change the narrative around to fit their awful presuppositions.

 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, THAT HE SAID THAT HE WOULD DO unto them; and he did it not.” Jonah 3:8-10

Now this passage ALONE should settle the debate as to whether or not the Bible contains counter-factual conditionals. As Brother Ruckman says, the Bible isn’t hard to understand IT’S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO BELIEVE. Notice that “repent” in vs 8-9 show God TURNING AWAY from something He SAID HE WOULD DO. So Jonah himself answers Wee’s hypothetical unbiblical NONSENSE and shoots #2 down in 3 verses.

On to point #3, Wee Calvin argues that:

Since God turns and will continue to turn the wicked into Hell (Psalm 9:17) then He has always purposed to do so. There was never a time in the mind of God when His hatred did not burn against sin and His justice demand that the perpetrators (if chronically unrepentant) of it be banished forever from His presence. (emphasis added).

Notice the highlighted part: God was ALWAYS purposed to do so??  SCRIPTURE??? Zero. None. Notta. Zilch. Nolo Contendere. NOWHERE does the Bible state anything near what Wee just claimed. IT IS PURELY A FICTIONAL SUPPOSITION BASED ON PHILOSOPHICAL SPECULATION. 

There are a number of other problems with this speculation as well:

*How can Wee Calvin claim “there was never a TIME…when God” when God exists OUTSIDE OF TIME? In order for Wee Calvin’s argument to even BEGIN to have substance, it would require that God’s emotions be bound to future events before time was even created.

*This is the equivalent of confirming dialectical materialism which maintains a premise of matter being eternally existent. In order for sin to be a reality in the mind of God for Him to be eternally angry about it, sin would have to coexist with God. Now the Calvinist will typically dress up a straw man and label it Open Theism by accusing anyone who would raise such an argument that God must not know the future if this isn’t possible, but notice the Calvinist does so without addressing the argument of dialectical materialism, and forces God to be bound by what He knows. In other words, God is not free to create, the future has a mind of its own that binds God to act according to His perfect knowledge of future events, and therefore the future is actually equal with God (the concept behind much Yin & Yang [Shintoism], or panentheism). So while Open Theism deprives God of being omniscient, Calvinism deprives God of being omnipotent.

*What perpetrators? In Wee Calvin’s rush to sound convincing, he claimed that God’s justice demands eternal punishment against “chronically unrepentent..perpetrators”. Where did these “perpetrators” come from in eternity? Are there some eternal perpetrators that God is mad at that we don’t know about? Maybe these eternal perpetrators are the ones who caused the devil to fall. WHO KNOWS. With Wee Calvin’s speculation, the sky is definitely NOT the limit.

Wee Calvin adds that:

This being the case, we read of ungodly men who were before of old ordained to this condemnation (Jude 4) and verses of a similar nature. Since God always determined to cast the wicked into Hell, then He determined that there would always be a Hell for wicked sinners to be cast into. One logically follows the other.

Jude 4 reads:

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

One problem that Calvinists have is always interpreting “ordained” as “determined”. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. A pastor can be ordained for a certain ministry doesn’t mean he was DETERMINED to do so. See Titus 1:5, Acts 16:4, Gal 3:19, Eph 2:10 (Ephesians 2:10 is especially critical, an argument we have raised called the “Calvinist Uniformity Conundrum”. If ordained always meant determined, then how can believers ever backslide EVEN FOR A MOMENT if their works were determined? Unless God determines that believer’s sin, Eph 2:10 is VERY problematic for Reformed Theology).

But several things to note about Jude 4:

1) It doesn’t say these men were condemned from eternity, but “before OF OLD”. That means, the judgment was something proposed IN TIME, NOT eternity.

2) It was the CONDEMNATION that was ordained, not the particular group of men. In other words, the CONSEQUENCE for rejecting Christ is what is ordained.

3) Three above is further supported by the fact that the ordained destruction WAS IN RESPONSE to those who “turned the grace of God” into something evil. For God to have eternally reprobated these men would require the ABSENCE of any reason for doing so. Thus, God can not eternally reprobate men while Jude claims that their condemnation WAS BECAUSE OF their reaction to the grace of God IN TIME. Notice moreoever in verse 7 how that those of Sodom and Gomorrah GAVE THEMSELVES OVER to their own lusts and sinfulness.

The same “decree” that God gives for life- whosoever believes in Him shall not perish- He also gives for death, that whosoever believes not shall suffer eternal punishment. The Calvinist must read their own twisted eisegesis into the text to come out with eternal reprobation because that’s NOT what Jude 4 says.

And finally, we will end with the most contradictory babbling you will ever see or hear among most Calvinists, and the greatest examples of philosophical flip-flopping of common sense and Scripture twisting extant.

First of all, the “kingdom” that is being discussed in Matthew 25:34 has absolutely NOTHING to do with any Gentile Christian believer or non believer during the Church Age. It is based on a judgment of men that occurs as a result of their obedience during the millennial reign of Christ when the sheep and the goats are separated AT THE END OF THE THOUSAND YEARS. Although we won’t go into the differences between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God here, it’s well worth the study.

Now notice that things that Jesus condemns those men of which He damns to eternal fire in Matthew 25: 42-45 because this is just as important as verse 41:

42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Notice the list “FOR” which here means “BECAUSE OF”. Now here’s a hint: you can’t have a BECAUSE OF and an ETERNAL DECREE AT THE SAME TIME AGAINST THE SAME EVENT. “Because of” implies causation. Every single act mentioned by Christ is something that these men COULD HAVE done differently, BUT FOR or BECAUSE OF their action or inaction, they are condemned. They are condemned FOR WHAT THEY DID, NOT CONDEMNED FROM ETERNITY, and Christ spends 5 verses on this subject to prove that.

The sinner, as a fully responsible creature, should ever seek the Lord and rest not until he is found of Him, not having his own righteousness etc. The free gospel offer of salvation is addressed to the ‘whosoever will.’ Calvinist evangelists have always rejoiced in the preaching of it.

The sinner is hardly a responsible creature if his destiny as well as his punishment has already been determined. The Calvinist would say that he is free to choose out of the compatibilistic nature that God gave him, even though he can’t ever choose good because of it, nevertheless he is still held responsible. But the problem with even that view is that his judgment was determined before any of his choices were made, so that alone would serve to prove that the sinner is not responsible for his sin because he was damned to eternal fire before he even sinned. (See our article “Would God Have Reprobated Perfect Human Beings?)

According to Calvinism’s view of Total Depravity, the sinner has Total Inability to seek God, and for Wee Calvin to suggest otherwise is blatantly dishonest. In addition to the non elect sinner not ever having the ability to respond to the offer, it is certainly, moreover, not a “FREE gospel offer”. A free offer implies that it can actually be accepted by anyone. But if ONLY the elect can receive and respond to it, then how is it a “free offer” to “whosoever will”? IT ISN’T!! That’s how Calvinism maintains credibility by LYING to you about what they really believe.  Wee Calvin had just clarified his position by claiming that those headed for hell are going there because God determined it to be so. How then can anyone be DETERMINED to go to hell, and yet have the actual ability to FREELY respond to the gospel?  That is utter nonsense and is the most patent example of a logical contradiction if there ever existed one. These are two extremes that CAN NOT both be true at the same. The gospel can not possibly be addressed to whosoever will without any meaningful opportunity for those among the whosoever to respond to it FREELY. If you mean that “whosoever” is ONLY the elect, then be honest and say so, and stop appealing to “whosoevers” as if anybody can actually read your rubbish.

Now remember when we started, we cited Isaiah 5:14! This is very simple logic and Bible. If hell was initially created for BOTH the devil, and sinful human beings, IT WOULD HAVE A PREDETERMINED PARAMETER. Would God make a place knowing exactly how many people were going to occupy it ONLY TO HAVE TO GO TO HOME DEPOT FOR MORE BUILDING SUPPLIES TO EXPAND IT LATER?? “Hell hath ENLARGED HERSELF”. The fact that hell GETS BIGGER shows that it was not intended to hold more than it was initially designed to hold.

Hence, Calvinism is NOT safe as Wee Calvin claims, and yes, hell was created initially for ONLY the devil and his angels which proves Biblically and logically that man was never predetermined to burn in hell.

Hell and destruction are NEVER FULL. Proverbs 27:20

 

 

Dr. Elisha Weismann

tug of warAn interesting conundrum for Calvinists to figure out, in my opinion, is reconciling God’s determinism with specific rewards and punishment. If God determined from eternity past who will be saved, then it would make sense that He would or could have also determined what rewards they will receive. Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 that Christians will receive rewards, but some will receive wood, hay and stubble while others receive gold and silver. John also admonished believers to guard what they worked for so that they receive a full reward. 2 John 8.

This would seem to be a system of rewards based on the believer’s willful obedience. But if the believers actions are determined, does this mean that God caused some believers to be more obedient than others, and caused the rest to be less obedient? (Although as Dr. Jerry Walls points out, it seems Calvinists are compatibilists before the cross, and adopt libertarian freedom after the cross.)

Furthermore, Scripture is also clear that there will be varying degrees of punishment for the lost. Calvinist Apologist Matt Slick of C.A.R.M. writes,

“So, if Jesus speaks of greater condemnation for Chorazin and Bethsaida than Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 11:21-22), one slave received more punishment than another (Luke 12:47-48), the one who delivered Jesus to Pilate has the greater sin (John 19:11), and a more severe punishment is reserved for those who trample underfoot the Son of God, then does not greater sin mean that greater punishment will also happen in hell? Yes it does”

For Calvinists who deny double-predestination this presents quite a quandary. If God simply “passed over” the non-elect, then how did God determine the various degrees of punishment the non-elect would receive without any reflection or consideration of their actions? The Westminster Confession (III, V) states that God did not elect the believers who are irresistibly saved by “any foresight of faith”, meaning God did not choose His elect based upon knowing who would choose Him in the future. In clause II of the Confession, God does not decree anything that He foresees in the future, or as that which should come to pass on such conditions. Thus to be consistent with the Calvinist view of God “passing over” the non-elect, God could not have damned anyone based on any foresight of them rejecting the gospel. God’s “passing over” them, as Calvinists argue, is a completely passive “act”. However, considering that God would have to determine the degrees of suffering for the non-elect, this assumption can not possibly be true, and be logically consistent with Calvinist philosophy.

God would have had to cause certain sinners to sin greater than others in order to punish them more severely. This would necessarily involve reflection and deliberate consideration*. Thus it must naturally follow that God could not have simply “passed over” the non-elect, but actively chose who would be damned, and purposely caused their course of actions resulting in some sinners being more egregious sinners than others. If God merely passed over some without any reflection or deliberate choosing, then all sinners would end up as equally sinful at judgment day.

Likewise, God would have had to also cause the good works of the elect as well as the lack of good works from others who do not perform as well as other believers. This is not to be confused with various gifts that God gives believers for the edification of the body of Christ, but to the level of personal commitment that a believer demonstrates his obedience and loyalty to the Lord. Gifts may be given, but not exercised as Paul warns Timothy. 1 Tim 4:14. But then how could Timothy neglect a gift that was determined for him to exercise?

The tragedy of this argument is that is demonstrates that God does not love even His own elect equally or unconditionally as He causes some to receive greater rewards and causes the rest to be less then submissive and at least less than moderately obedient. Of course, the Calvinist’s only real defense would be to argue the person was not saved or elected in the first place, but this defense opens a can of worms to all Calvinists who do not demonstrate an equal amount of dedication and obedience among themselves. It would also fail to explain how a person could yet receive different rewards if the believer’s obedience and good works were determined (if Calvinists were consistent with their interpretation of the word “ordain” then according to Ephesians 2:10, Calvinists should not have a problem with us claiming that God can and should ordain their works).

Calvinists can not possibly reconcile the explicit contradiction that exists between their view of election and reprobation (regardless of whether the Calvinist is supralapsarian or infralapsarian, this argument applies equally to both), with the rewards and punishment system of Scripture that shows that man is judged by actions he does in time. The Calvinist can not maintain a compatibilistic view of freedom and claim that God does not operate with foresight of faith or conditions at the same time given the conflict shown here between rewards and punishment.

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*Calvinist author and theologian, B.B. Warfield writes,

Warfield says, ““The mere putting of the question seems to carry its answer with it. For the actual dealing with men which is in question, is, with respect to both classes alike, those who are elected and those who are passed by, conditioned on sin; we cannot speak of salvation any more than of reprobation without positing sin. Sin is necessarily precedent in thought, not indeed to the abstract idea of discrimination, but to the concrete instance of discrimination which is in question, a discrimination with regard to a destiny which involves either salvation or punishment. There must be sin in contemplation to ground a decree of salvation, as truly as a decree of punishment. We cannot speak of a decree discriminating between men with reference to salvation and punishment, therefore, without positing the contemplation of men as sinners as its logical prius.” Warfield, Plan of Salvation, Part 1.