Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"In Our Image, After Our Likeness": The God of the Calvinists

“There are distressingly many things that happen on earth that are not the will of God (Luke 7:30 and every other sin mentioned in the Bible), that are against his will, and that stem from the incomprehensible and senseless sin in which we are born, in which the greater part of mankind lives, and in which Israel persisted, and against which even the ‘holiest men’ (Heid. Cat. Q.114) struggled all their days (David, Peter). God has ONLY ONE COURSE OF ACTION for this and that is to provide for its atonement by having it all crucified and buried with Christ. To try to interpret all these things by means of the concept of a plan of God, creates intolerable difficulties and gives rise to more exceptions than regularities. But THE MOST IMPORTANT objection is that the idea of a plan is AGAINST THE MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE since God Himself becomes incredible IF THAT AGAINST WHICH HE HAS FOUGHT WITH POWER, AND FOR WHICH HE SACRIFICED HIS ONLY SON, WAS NEVERTHELESS SOMEHOW PART AND PARCEL OF HIS ETERNAL COUNSEL. So it is better to proceed from the idea that God had a certain goal in mind (the covenant, or the kingdom of God, or the new earth—which are all the same thing viewed from different angles) that he will achieve with us, without us, or even against us” (Adrio Konig, quoted by Roger Olson, “Arminian Theology,” page 39).

In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let Us make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” But today, I’m afraid that we have forgotten what it means to be the “creation”—and instead, we’ve become the “Creator.” Instead of God making us like Himself, we’ve now made God LIKE OURSELVES…

Adrio Konig, as quoted by Roger Olson, gives us the heart and soul of the differences between Arminians and Calvinists. Both sides are known for amassing passages of Scripture which they believe justify their view; but if you wanna get to the bedrock of the issue, just look at Christ’s death and resurrection.

Romans 3:25 tells us that “God presented Him [Christ] as a PROPITIATION through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed” (Rom. 3:25, HCSB).

Let’s examine this verse. We are told that God put forth His Son; why? “to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.” So God sending His Son as a propitiation [a pleasing sacrifice] was to show His righteousness, to reveal His Holy Law against an unholy act (that being the sins of the world). How then, could God “demonstrate His righteousness,” if He were the one responsible for sin IN THE FIRST PLACE? Sounds like the Calvinists are inconsistent and twist Scripture to say something it doesn’t say.

The re-written “God of the Calvinists” also contradicts what John wrote of Christ in Scripture:

“My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have AN ADVOCATE with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous One. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also FOR THOSE OF THE WHOLE WORLD” (1 John 2:1-2, Holman Christian Standard Bible).

John, an Elder, is writing to fellow believers, for he says in 1 John 2:12, “your sins have been forgiven on account of His name” (HCSB). However, with the verses above from the earlier part of chapter 2, John is not just including BELIEVERS; he is also including UNBELIEVERS, those whose sins are not forgiven because they have not professed faith in Christ. A person either has to be a Christian or not—a believer or a sinner, a part of the family of God or a part of the family of the world. There is no middle ground when it comes to faith.

So if John states that Christ is the pleasing sacrifice for not just the sins of the believer but of the whole world, then he’s saying that Jesus gave His life for ALL, not just some, and not just “the elect.” Christ gave His life for everyone, INCLUDING those who will reject Him.

I think the god invention of the Calvinists is one that has been made in the image of MAN: this god doesn’t like rejection; he wants to dictate man’s every move and play games with his relationships with his creatures. The Calvinists tell us that this god is the God of Scripture; but I believe we should look for another…

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