Calvinism's Untrustworthy God

Those who know me will have little doubt of my dislike of Calvinism. I am not dispassionate about it because I believe it to be a dangerous belief system not least because of the way it suggests to its adherents that the value of some human beings is less than that of those who are elect.

Of course the theologians who support this version of reformed belief will give reasons why these un-favoured created beings are not of less value and that it is all to 'the glory of God', but I am not convinced.

I have theological reasons for disagreeing with them and can find significant scriptural support for saying that they have created a closed system that is wrong.

Here however I want to offer an emotional, and hopefully thoughtful, response to their view that God has favoured some people before they were even born.
I find no comfort in being loved by a God who, without explanation, chooses to include me and yet not others. You have to remember that, given the Calvinist's belief in total depravity there is nothing moral about the one elected that sets them apart from from the one damned. In this environment their can be no security. To counter this argument they offer the idea of the Perseverance of the saints (once saved always saved) in order to make sure that believers do not lose hope.

Of course they produce scriptures to prove their point but it is not hard to show that the weight of the New Testament in general, and the life and teaching of Christ in particular, shows a God who loves all that he has created.

The favoured child of dysfunctional parents will never be free from the neurosis caused by being surround by love that is selective. It is only unconditional love that is complete: it is only inclusive love that is able to satisfy.

My wife and I have just watched a television report about people, mainly women, being raped, killed, and burnt in Syria. The majority of those victims would never have had the opportunity of hearing, at least in any meaningful way, about God's answer in Christ. The Calvinist answer would be a mixture of 'none of us deserve salvation anyway', 'God is just', and 'we shouldn't question God'. Occasionally you will hear the real truth of their belief from a particularly devout commentator: 'God hates some people and loves others'.

I fail to be impressed by such ideas. I fail to be impressed by a God who would have no compassion on those who we witnessed being brutalised in Syria. How can God have less compassion than we have.

You may wonder at why I am so passionate in my objection to Calvinism. It's not as if Calvinists would perpetrate the kind of behaviour seen in Syria. It is difficult for me not to draw a comparison, however, with the wasteful acts of those who would do such things in this life and the suggested fate of those who are supposedly predestined to suffer condemnation without hope in the next. Holding a belief in a God who is so selective must influence one's view of the value of humanity: especially of those who are deemed to not be 'in' the elect.

In this regard I have no wish to be loved by a God who has favoured me whilst possibly damning those I love without offering them the opportunity of being included. I am pleased to say that they are wrong: God IS love and he is not a untrustworthy.

Now that is good news!


T. C. said...

Just wanted to thank you for this post. I often feel alone in my passionate rejection of Calvinism. Many Evangelicals I talk to on the subject wonder "What's the big deal?" As you've indicated, the "big deal" is God's character. Jesus is the full picture of God. There's no hidden arbitrary puppet-master behind him who is *actually* running the world. That's what Calvinism posits.

Icebreaker said...

Nice one Alan... Well written. "Love Wins"

Nina Greenwood said...

It has done more harm to my Mother's land,Scotland than alcahol!