Help me answer an important Calvinist question


#1

I have been talking to a calvinist and I think I finally go what he was saying, the problem is I dont think its a correct conclusion on his/calvins part.

Here is the situation at hand as proposed by him to me: You [Catholic Dude] didn’t say the words “all people will be saved” but you did say that God desires the salvation of all people and has the power, authority, and inclination to achieve His will. Such a claim is synonymous with saying that all people will be saved.
and later he also says to me And herein lies the incongruity in your position. You acknowledge that God is capable of saving as He will, that He has the power and authority and inclination to do as He desires. Despite such claims, which can only find their logical end in a profession of universalism, you claim that some still go to hell. That doesn’t send off any alarms in your brain? Do you see what he is saying? I think he is jumping to a wrong conclusion or else Im wrong. This is an important question which I need help in understanding. Im sure that this question has been answered before by the great minds of the Church.


#2

The thing about Calvinists, and, I’m sure you already are MORE than familiar with this, is they do not believe in free will. They believe God choses some to be damned. Does that not send off alarms in his head?

I understand what he is saying because I grew up in a branch of Calvinism & went to a different Calvinist school, but, he is wrong.

AND, to the first point he made, again, question him about free will, if you so will. God WANTS people to be saved, but, he doesn’t force it, now does He? (But, this is what you said, isn’t it?)

I know this wasn’t very helpful & I hope that people soon are able to provide links with the CCC & Counter Reformation sources, but, no, you are not wrong.


#3

[quote=Catholic Dude]I have been talking to a calvinist and I think I finally go what he was saying, the problem is I dont think its a correct conclusion on his/calvins part.

Here is the situation at hand as proposed by him to me: You [Catholic Dude] didn’t say the words “all people will be saved” but you did say that God desires the salvation of all people and has the power, authority, and inclination to achieve His will. Such a claim is synonymous with saying that all people will be saved.
and later he also says to me And herein lies the incongruity in your position. You acknowledge that God is capable of saving as He will, that He has the power and authority and inclination to do as He desires. Despite such claims, which can only find their logical end in a profession of universalism, you claim that some still go to hell. That doesn’t send off any alarms in your brain? Do you see what he is saying? I think he is jumping to a wrong conclusion or else Im wrong. This is an important question which I need help in understanding. Im sure that this question has been answered before by the great minds of the Church.
[/quote]

Even ignoring theology and going from a purely logical position, this guy has as serious problem. He states that saying God WANTS everyone to be saved is the same as saying that everyone WILL be saved. Even a first grader can tell you that wanting something doesn’t mean that it will happen. Even when you add in the fact that God has the POWER to save everybody, this still leaves out the important step of God having to choose to use the power.

Say my ex girlfriend and I broke up 3 times. Assume I WANT to get back together with her. Now say she comes to me and decides that she will come back to me. I now have the POWER to be with her again. However, unless I say yes and choose to USE that power, the WANT doesn’t prove that the event happens. Maybe I don’t use the power because I know we will just break up again. Understand?

Also, he has a MAJOR problem because he is essentially denying the Bible, which Calvinists believe in. The Bible DOES say both that God wants all people to be saved, in quite a few places. It also says He has the power, authority, and inclination to do that (the fact that Jesus came to Earth proves His inclination). This makes your second paragraph of his arguements irrelevant. In fact, it should send off some alarms in his brain that his position denies the two ideas that we just mentioned that are CLEARLY in the BIBLE.

Any good Calvinist won’t listen to you on this, but it basically comes down to this: Do you believe God creates people for the purpose of going to Hell?

There are a million good (mostly Protestant, so be careful, but they’re good in some matters) sites out there to refute Calvanism.


#4

Hello Catholic Dude:

You [Catholic Dude] didn’t say the words “all people will be saved” but you did say that God desires the salvation of all people and has the power, authority, and inclination to achieve His will. Such a claim is synonymous with saying that all people will be saved.

How is your statemetn synonymous with saying all people will be saved? His position ignores God’s gift of free will. I think the Calvinist position confuses God’s omniscience with his omnipotence. Just because God knows who will be saved and who will not, that does not imply that he does not want all to be saved, nor does it imply that he cannot force everyone to be saved. But to force all to be saved is a violation of the gift of free will.

And herein lies the incongruity in your position. You acknowledge that God is capable of saving as He will, that He has the power and authority and inclination to do as He desires. Despite such claims, which can only find their logical end in a profession of universalism, you claim that some still go to hell. That doesn’t send off any alarms in your brain?

Your position is not incongruous so long as you believe in God’s gift of free will. Univeralism is not even the issue. Your Calvinist friend is way off base.


#5

Robert in SD: you’re 100% correct, but Calvanists think there is no such thing as free will. In fact, strict Calvanism goes so far as to say that if I blink my eye right now, God is making me do it. If I lift my arm, it is ALL God. Every, tiniest, smallest thing that ever happens is God doing it to a Calvanist.

Of course the truth is that anything that happens happens because God LETS it happen.


#6

HERE is the (off site) thread I am talking about

adstrinity-

The thing about Calvinists, and, I’m sure you already are MORE than familiar with this, is they do not believe in free will. They believe God choses some to be damned. Does that not send off alarms in his head?

I try and try to get this across, but they come back with the idea that “oh, well thats the cold ugly truth of salvation” and say stuff like, "you guys dont understand, we all deserve hell, yet God in his infinite goodness selects some to be saved. You guy focus on what man wants instead of what God wants, God didnt have to save anyone, but He did."
Stuff like this just kills me. On one account it makes sense, but on the other hand it seems so cold and heartless.

AND, to the first point he made, again, question him about free will, if you so will. God WANTS people to be saved, but, he doesn’t force it, now does He? (But, this is what you said, isn’t it?)

Here is the problem, he says that “God can want anything , yet who can stop Him from getting what He wants?” He asks if God is so powerful a human cant get in the way of what he wants.
I ask about Satan and Adam on if God made them sin or they did it themself. He goes into God’s different types of wills, I dont follow.

Lazerlike42-

Even ignoring theology and going from a purely logical position, this guy has as serious problem. He states that saying God WANTS everyone to be saved is the same as saying that everyone WILL be saved. Even a first grader can tell you that wanting something doesn’t mean that it will happen. Even when you add in the fact that God has the POWER to save everybody, this still leaves out the important step of God having to choose to use the power.

I have tried to say this, but he uses the same type of approach to claim it means the same at the end of the day. That is a key issue.

S

ay my ex girlfriend and I broke up 3 times. Assume I WANT to get back together with her. Now say she comes to me and decides that she will come back to me. I now have the POWER to be with her again. However, unless I say yes and choose to USE that power, the WANT doesn’t prove that the event happens. Maybe I don’t use the power because I know we will just break up again. Understand?

He says if God is all powerful and gets whatever he wants then a mere human should not influence what God wants. I guess if you read the link you will see I have gone through this.

Also, he has a MAJOR problem because he is essentially denying the Bible, which Calvinists believe in. The Bible DOES say both that God wants all people to be saved, in quite a few places. It also says He has the power, authority, and inclination to do that (the fact that Jesus came to Earth proves His inclination). This makes your second paragraph of his arguements irrelevant. In fact, it should send off some alarms in his brain that his position denies the two ideas that we just mentioned that are CLEARLY in the BIBLE.

Any good Calvinist won’t listen to you on this, but it basically comes down to this: Do you believe God creates people for the purpose of going to Hell?

There are a million good (mostly Protestant, so be careful, but they’re good in some matters) sites out there to refute Calvanism.

That has been my line of thought the whole time, I dont believe that God creates someone to turn around and toss them in the fire.


#7

Yes, Calvinists believe that God makes people sin. He then eternally damns them for it, except for the people whom He chooses to save. Robert Sungenis has a chapter on predestination & free will in NBFA. Related information: catholicismnow.blogspot.com/2005/04/tulip-chat-atoned4.html


#8

If a mere human cannot dictate what God does or wants, then who is this fellow to argue that God is incapable of choosing not to exercise His power?

His arguement is that our arguement is that if God wants to save all and can save all then all are saved.

In other words, his critcism of our position requires that God can’t choose not to exercise His power. If we are allowed to argue our position and say that God can want to do something and be able to do something and yet not do it, this man’s arguement falls apart.

He is arguing (again, in our position) that if God wants all to be saved, and God can save all, then all (to us he says) MUST be saved. He isn’t leaving any room for God to say, “I CAN but I WON’T.”


#9

Peace be with you!

I’ve had an ongoing discussion with a Calvinist for months now, so I TOTALLY understand what you’re dealing with. I still have never once gotten a satisfactory answer to predestination. All I’ve been told (after I’ve dumbed down predestination, using fairly simple logic, and explained it in a way that would make almost anyone throw it in the trash) is “It is a testiment to God’s glory”. That’s it. So when God damns someone before they are even born, when they die and He judges them and casts them to hell, that’s a testiment to his glory. Anyone else see the stupidity in that line of thinking? If God gives us free will and we CHOOSE not to accept Him and obey His commandments and then he judges us rightfully, then that’s fine…but when you think that he MAKES us (and by the way, this Calvinist says that while God creates us to be damned and predestines all the actions we will ever make, that’s not forcing us to sin:rolleyes:) sin and then casts us into hell for it when we had no say in the matter, how in the world is that a testiment to His glory?

I don’t know if I made this too clear, but these Calvinist beliefs are so darn unclear to me!

In Christ,
Rand


#10

Simply put, the thing I always ask those who believe in OSAS (as Calvinism is basically OSAS through and through) is that what is their concept of sin? Or, what does sin still mean to them then if it is God who causes man to sin? What is the meaning of salvation then and Jesus’ death if from the start God has already predestined everyone? Jesus’ sacrifice would be for nothing in the Calvinistic view.


#11

[quote=Catholic Dude]I have been talking to a calvinist and I think I finally go what he was saying, the problem is I dont think its a correct conclusion on his/calvins part.

Here is the situation at hand as proposed by him to me:You [Catholic Dude] didn’t say the words “all people will be saved” but you did say that God desires the salvation of all people and has the power, authority, and inclination to achieve His will. Such a claim is synonymous with saying that all people will be saved.

and later he also says to meAnd herein lies the incongruity in your position. You acknowledge that God is capable of saving as He will, that He has the power and authority and inclination to do as He desires. Despite such claims, which can only find their logical end in a profession of universalism, you claim that some still go to hell. That doesn’t send off any alarms in your brain?Do you see what he is saying? I think he is jumping to a wrong conclusion or else Im wrong. This is an important question which I need help in understanding. Im sure that this question has been answered before by the great minds of the Church.
[/quote]

What a fascinating question!

Contrary to your Calvanist’s friend’s Calvanism, God’s grace only raises us to FREEDOM. It doesn’t violate free will.

Otherwise, objectively, we’d be “demon b-----ds” whom God is arbitrarily declaring to be saints!

For me, the jury is still out on the question of whether the grace of the cross is so efficient that ALL bad decisions by people will be critically addressed and reversed so that no one will go to Hell. I DOUBT that position, but I can’t think of an argumernt against it.


#12

And herein lies the incongruity in your position. You acknowledge that God is capable of saving as He will, that He has the power and authority and inclination to do as He desires. Despite such claims, which can only find their logical end in a profession of universalism, you claim that some still go to hell. That doesn’t send off any alarms in your brain?

God is totally capable of saving anyone. God wants (desires) everyone to be saved. God has the power to totally realize his desires. His logical fallacy comes in claiming that because God has the “power and authority and inclination” to do something, that He will do it. It obviously does not follow from power and authority, but you’ve got yourself in a sticky situation with the word “inclination.” First of all, are there are Biblical or Church references that support this? That aside, an inclination is a dispostion to prefer something. Yes, God prefers that we be saved. But that doesn’t mean that he will force us to be saved. It’s a *non sequitur. *

Have I helped?


#13

[quote=BibleReader]What a fascinating question!

Contrary to your Calvanist’s friend’s Calvanism, God’s grace only raises us to FREEDOM. It doesn’t violate free will.

Otherwise, objectively, we’d be “demon b-----ds” whom God is arbitrarily declaring to be saints!

For me, the jury is still out on the question of whether the grace of the cross is so efficient that ALL bad decisions by people will be critically addressed and reversed so that no one will go to Hell. I DOUBT that position, but I can’t think of an argumernt against it.
[/quote]

It truly is amazing. The thing I will never understand is how someone would join them knowing that when they die they could find out they were never chosen in the first place. Thats the shame of it all. By his logic Calvin, the founder could find that he was never part of the elect, so in a sense its pure egotism while your alive if you join.

p.s. what is the word “b----ds” Im guessing its a bad word but I cant figure out what it is, itch? no, astard? no, ?


#14

[quote=Catholic Dude]It truly is amazing. The thing I will never understand is how someone would join them knowing that when they die they could find out they were never chosen in the first place. Thats the shame of it all. By his logic Calvin, the founder could find that he was never part of the elect, so in a sense its pure egotism while your alive if you join.

p.s. what is the word “b----ds” Im guessing its a bad word but I cant figure out what it is, itch? no, astard? no, ?
[/quote]

I would guess that it’s the alternate name for the hand and a half sword.

I think you make an interesting point. It’s rather presumptuous even to join the faith. After all, if we’re all God’s puppets, nothing really matters. Judgment is negated becasue there is no free will. Wait a second. Ever ask him why there is judgment if God chooses everything? What is there to judge? This could be a good alternate course. Judgment is useless if God totally forces/controls everything, so why does the Bible talk about judgment? I don’t think these two are reconcilable. :wink:

(Did my last post clear anything up, or did it just restate the obvious?)


#15

[quote=RobNY]I would guess that it’s the alternate name for the hand and a half sword.

(Did my last post clear anything up, or did it just restate the obvious?)
[/quote]

What you said in your last post is basically the same thing I told him.

p.s. I still cant get it, give me another hint, I dont even know what a half sword is called. a broken sword?


#16

[quote=Catholic Dude]What you said in your last post is basically the same thing I told him.
[/quote]

Ah, yeah. Ok.

p.s. I still cant get it, give me another hint, I dont even know what a half sword is called. a broken sword?

“Hand and a half,” The bastard sword, of course. Quite a wicked weapon. :wink:


#17

[quote=RobNY]Ah, yeah. Ok.

“Hand and a half,” The bastard sword, of course. Quite a wicked weapon. :wink:
[/quote]

There is a link in a earlier post to where I said it.

p.s. I guessed that word the first time around but it doesnt fit.


#18

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Calvanists are actually thinking this when they “join,” but I agree and have always thought that there is a certain egotism and elitism to it.

Basically, the teaching is that if you persist in faith in Christ, you are one of God’s chosen elect. So, every Calvanist has to in some way feel that he or she is some person chosen by God.


#19

In response to the original thread:

Calvinits stress the sovereignty and omnipotence of God. They confess that God s capable of doing all things, that all things (even the minutest detail of this world) are ordained by Him. Thus, they argue that if God’s truly willd to save everyone, He would save everyone, because He is all-powerful.

This is flawed though, because it denies God another exercise of His power: His ability to surrender power. God is so powerful, that He can ordain for men to have free will, and take their eternal destinies into their own hands, as it were. He can give up the control of human beings, because He respects them as creatures made in His own image, and gives them free choice. He will hold them accountable for those choices, but they are given the power to choose.


Gods desire is clear:

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim. 2:3-5)

But it is left to us:

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him…But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. (Deut. 30:19-20, 17)

May we choose wisely.


#20

[quote=Catholic Dude]It truly is amazing. The thing I will never understand is how someone would join them knowing that when they die they could find out they were never chosen in the first place. Thats the shame of it all. By his logic Calvin, the founder could find that he was never part of the elect, so in a sense its pure egotism while your alive if you join.

p.s. what is the word “b----ds” Im guessing its a bad word but I cant figure out what it is, itch? no, astard? no, ?
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

Here’s the best thing about Calvinism. You know what the best proof of you being one of the “elect” is? If you’re a Calvinist! That’s the ONLY proof and/or assurance you have if you’re a Calvinist. I had this Calvinist tell me that anywhere from 86%-92% of the world is going to hell!!! And what makes it even more ridiculous is that evidently, according to him, God simply arbitrarily chooses to send these people and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it…if we accept Christ it’s only because God chose for us to accept Him; if we don’t it’s because God chose for us not to accept Him and damn us to hell. And evidently all this is somehow a testiment to the glory of God (no explanation of why or how it’s a testiment to that glory, though!). How anyone could believe this junk is beyond me.

In Christ,
Rand


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