Saturday, January 30, 2016

LDS vs Other Views on Predestination/Election

I listen to a lot of podcasts by Calvinists of various flavors, some Arminians and some "Traditionalists".  For the sake of brevity of explanations, Calvinists, named for 16th Century Reformer John Calvin, hold that God only loves some people enough to save them, but he is the source of all actions and he dictates the Will of all men to them.  They are typically known by the acrostic TULIP, or the 5-points of Calvinism.  Frankly, it is a monsterous philosophical system, which has a god nothing like Jesus of the Bible, and can find no historical support earlier than Augustine of Hippo in the 5th Century.
Arminians hold many views similar to Calvinists in many areas, but they believe Man does have relative free will.  This results in a situation of God looking down the corridors of time to see who will chose to accept the Gospel message, and so he then "Elects" them.  This drives Calvinists crazy, because they think if anyone has free will, there is a chance they could frustrate the plan of God, and prevent his purposes.  This is also called Semi-Pelagianism, after the 4th Century monk, Pelagius.  Pelagius is accused of believing humans were actually completely responsible for accepting the Gospel, and that humans once doing so could live a perfect life without the need of God's further grace.  At least he is accused of that.  Since he was considered heretical, most of his works were destroyed, so we mostly have information from his critics.  What writings of his survive seem to be somewhat different, and historically he doesn't seem to be viewed in quite this light.
Lastly, there is the traditional Baptist view, wherein man is free to choose, but after he chooses it is impossible to lose your salvation.  God knows who will join accept the Gospel, but he puts the message out to everyone, and everyone actually has a chance of accepting it.

Candidly, it is beyond me how these three views can say the difference between a Calvinist God, who is the one who motivates and decrees the rape of children, ethnic cleansing the the unmerited damnation of his children for no reason other than his own good "pleasure" to give himself "Glory"; and the traditional view's God who actually is not responsible for evil actions, but actually wants all of his children saved; how is it these two views are viewed as "minor" differences within their view of the Christian faith?

The more I research these views, the sicker I find Calvinism to be, and the more hypocritical I find the non-Calvinists for not calling this monster philosophy for the evil it is.

Here are some actual quotes from leading Calvinists, but I will cite a few.  I must thank the website I got these from for putting so many illustrations in a single place:

John Calvin:

Hence we maintain that, by his providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined.[1]
 [The question must be asked—how are men held responsible for sinful choices that flow out of wills that are “governed as to move exactly in the course which God has destined?”]
 Men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on anything but what he has previously decreed with himself, and brings to pass by his secret direction.[2]
[In Calvinism God is the logical origin and thus author of every sinful thought or choice men make. How else to explain Calvinism’s teaching that all our decreed decisions and deliberations are initiated by the “secret instigation of God” that he infallibly “brings to pass by his secret direction?”]
The hand of God rules the interior affections no less than it superintends external actions; nor would God have effected by the hand of man what he decreed, unless he worked in their hearts to make them will before they acted.[3]
[Calvinists are well-known for redefining free-will as being “free to act in accordance with our strongest desires.” However what they leave out is the pivotal point that God has also causally predetermined which desires act upon our wills. Here Calvin admits that for God to achieve a predestined, external action in a person, he must effectively “work in their hearts to make them will before they act.”]
The will of God is the chief and principal cause of all things.[4]

James White:

Calvinist theologian James White, in a debate with Hank Hannegraaf and George Bryson, was asked, “When a child is raped, is God responsible and did He decree that rape?” To which Mr. White replied… “Yes, because if not then it’s meaningless and purposeless and though God knew it was going to happen he created it without a purpose… and God is responsible for the creation of despair… If He didn‟t [decree child rape] then that rape is an element of meaningless evil that has no purpose.”[11]

Can it be any more clear!!  But this is not the worst.

John Piper:

“So when I say that everything that exists — including evil — is ordained by an infinitely holy and all-wise God to make the glory of Christ shine more brightly, I mean that, one way or the other, God sees to it that all things serve to glorify his Son.”[15]
J.I. Packer:
God… orders and controls all things, human actions among them…He [also] holds every man responsible for the choices he makes and the courses of action he pursues… Man is a responsible moral agent, though he is also divinely controlled; man is divinely controlled, though he is also a responsible moral agent. To our finite minds, of course, the thing is inexplicable.[18]

R.C. Sproul Jr.

God wills all things that come to pass…God desired for man to fall into sin. I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that God created sin.”[19]

Mark Talbot and John Piper:

“God brings about all things in accordance with his will. It isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those that love him; it is rather that he himself brings about these evil aspects… This includes God’s having even brought about the Nazi’s brutality at Birkenau and Auschwitz as well as the terrible killings of Dennis Rader and even the sexual abuse of a young child.” [27]
 So Mormons believe in Free Will for people and we don't believe in the Trinity like non-LDS Christians, but apparently that is worse than believing God is somehow glorified in child rape, fatalistically decreeing all human evil, and sending his children into endless torment in hell for no personal cause WHATSOEVER.  So I am not all that concerned about sucking up to people that tolerate such blasphemy or advocate it.  If the non-Calvinists were actually true to their espoused convictions, they would call a spade a spade and
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues (Rev 18:4).
My next post will detail the text of Romans, especially chapters 8-9, which is where Calvinists supposedly take most of their support for God randomly deciding who should be saved or damned.