We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Does God Create People to Send to Hell?

The title question has been addressed by Calvinists ad nauseam but never really satisfactorily.  They always claim that such a question impeaches God’s name, dishonors him, etc, but such assertions really ignore the teachings of Calvinism.  I know Calvinists who read my blog will chastise me for this post, but they can’t deny the logic. 

I am writing this post because a fellow blogger posted an article last week titled; “Does the God of Love Create People for Eternal Suffering?” and then included as the post the writings which supposedly “proved” the answer to be in the negative.

According to Calvinism, God pre-selected, pre-ordained some of his created people to be the elect, to be saved in Christ, and only those people will be with God in the end.  The rest of mankind, therefore, have been pre-selected to not be pre-ordained to salvation.

Now simple logic says that if you are choosing random people to be the elect while leaving the rest to end up in the created hell for non-believers, then you are defacto creating people simply to send to hell with no chance of learning the gospel or learning anything of God.

One point to make: God created only two people and the rest of mankind came about by procreation. So technically God didn’t create people to go to Hell.  But he allows the procreation of people who will never have a chance to know Christ because God didn’t pre-ordain them. And that really is just as bad as creating people to send to hell.

The Calvinist God is not the God of the Bible, because all through Scripture we see that WE have a choice to accept salvation or refuse it. God in his sovereignty can do that.

Unlike the vast majority of the things I post on this blog, I will not post comments of arguments, denials, railings, etc -- they will be moderated out. I do not argue Calvinism because it is futile and therefore wastes time better used elsewhere.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is extraordinary just how much time can be spent debating or defending Calvinism - and various other isms for that matter.

I tried to be Calvinist, mainly as a reaction to the man-centered 'evangelicalism' of Willow Creek, which seems to put man at the centre of the salvation process rather than God. Never quite made it.

Two things led me away from Calvinism. One was that God became so sovereign and great that I could not longer relate to him, fellowship in any meaningful sense was gone. Ironically I suppose I stopped living under grace! This finally came to an end singing the hymn You're rich in love And You're slow to anger Your name is great And Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing ... when I choked up realising this was true of ME, not just everyone else around me. Not very English. Two weeks running too! It was the end of being the frozen chosen. A good friend of mine, who was formerly out and out Calvinist, had almost exactly the same experience.

Ultimately, Calvinism stands or falls on how accurately or not it reflects the teaching of the NT. It is very difficult to keep to it as a grid that you make the text fit in say Heb 6 regarding the consequences of apostasy, and Rom 11 regarding predestination. These and other passages led me away from this particular ~ism.

We are predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, which is not exactly the same thing as saying who believes or refuses to believe has already been decided before the foundation of the world. It is amazing how that can get lost in pointless arguing over what someone else believed 400 years ago or so!

Ken B



Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would say that Calvinists serve another god. This is not a salvation issue.

Martha said...

Ken B stated, "It was the end of being the frozen chosen."

Oh, how true Ken B, this conundrum is lived out in many a church, living on this side of pride. To replace our Risen LORD, Jesus Christ, is apostate replacement theology in a black walnut shell.

Would you mind if I spoke your honest phrase to others who love to debate their chosen form of religion? I think it is brilliant and you most certainly would receive the credit as "Ken B!"

So thankful you and your friend experienced the freedom, liberty, mercy, and Godly grace that only He can offer to us in the most pure and humble form.

Blessings to you Ken B.


Martha

kldscribe said...

I would like to respectfully add my opinion to this debate.. I am always ready to be corrected.
I believe the answer to this dilemma can be traced back to the comment in Malachi, "Jacob I loved and Esau I hated." Why did God hate Esau? In my opinion, it is because, knowing the end from the beginning, God saw that Esau would never repent, thereby damning himself, as it were.
In the same way, I believe He predestinates (Romans 8:29), as the verse states, those whom "He did foreknow," knowing the end from the beginning, those who would choose Him. These ones are the predestinated. But only God knows who is whom. He alone knows the end from the beginning. It still behooves us to choose. In fact, we must make the choice. Otherwise, we are "damning ourselves."
I believe God's Word is full of these little conundrums, like Judas... If He was going voluntarily to the Cross, why blame Judas for the betrayal? "The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born." (Mark 14:21)
It is all about our choices, because we have been given the honor of free will. God no more created people to be destined to hell than He created evil. We choose evil by rejecting good. We choose hell by rejecting His salvation.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

I didn't say Calvinists serve another God; I said the one they describe isn't the God of the Bible.

And your are correct, it isn't salvation issue, which is why I don't get into debates about it.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Kidscribe,

"Jacob I loved and Esau I hated" isn't about love vs hate. It is about seleting one tribe over the other to be God's chosen people.

I don't see any conundrums in Scripture; I think they are seen that way because people have a bias one way over another. Two things seemingly contradictory can both be true.

Anonymous said...

Martha - Greetings!

The expression 'frozen chosen' isn't copyright. I first heard it from the friend I mentioned, but it is jargon used amongst UK evangelicals to describe the more straight-laced of their brethren, or those stuck in traditions of how things have always been done. My friend also used to talk about some modern worship 'Jesus is my boyfriend' songs.

In the phone call I had with him some time ago, he mentioned how having formerly worked for John MacArthur in the UK, he had met him more than once and found him a gracious and godly man, except that in recent years a strange kind of hardness or harshness comes over him when he gets into the pulpit. The attitude displayed to all charismatics by the Strange Fire conference led my friend to resign from GTY.

His own end of being frozen but chosen came in a church service where the Lord strongly convicted him/spoke to his heart that he was looking at all his fellow believers there as objects of doctrinal interest rather than as people. How reformed were they? He stopped on the spot. The effect was better fellowship with his fellow believers and he stopped looking at God as a doctrine to be understood. Abba, Father needed to be restored.

(My own journey away from Calvinism started when I stopped reading Pyromaniacs, and stopped imbibing the attitude displayed there - despite there being a lot of good there initially.)

His current church is evangelical Anglican, with some charismatic sympathies or, if you prefer, expectation of spiritual gifts for today. If you just want some encouragement, he told me how a lady who was registered blind and had cataracts called the vicar as elder to pray for her James 5 style. They did so. The following Wednesday she suddenly found herself looking at herself in her bathroom mirror. The cataracts were gone as well. I'm pretty sure this was medically diagnosed before and after. Isn't that wonderful?

We can spend so much time trying to be sound in doctrine (and we should be) that we can end up 'sound' asleep.

Ken B