Predestination – Part 1

I was asked to do a thing on Predestination versus Free-will.  And I spent TWO DAYS working on this LONG-ass thing that’s sitting in my review section just waiting to be made public… and I’ve changed my mind.  Because exactly what I said I didn’t like is exactly the argument I fell into.  And I’m a little pissed off about it, to be honest.  So let’s cover the crap first, by introducing you to two men.

Meet John Calvin.  He’s the father of the Reformed movement, and given the credit for the doctrine of Election, also known as predestination.  He taught that:
**  God is sovereign and man was nothing without God
**  God as omnipotent creator made man to be either righteous or unrighteous.
**  Man has no say in the matter, because he’s not God.
**  God is in control of who accepts Him and who doesn’t.
**  That He allows any to accept Him is Mercy.
**  Christ died for the sins of those who would accept Him.

Meet Jacob Arminius.   He’s the father of Universal Atonement (granted, by default, but still…)  and the doctrine of Free Will.   He taught that:
**  God is sovereign, but made man to be sovereign, too.
**  God allows man to choose to be righteous or unrighteous.
**  Man calls the shots in terms of his own eternal destiny.
**  Man is focal, not God – God stands hat in hand hoping man will choose Him.
**  That God gives all mankind opportunity shows Him to be merciful.
**  Christ died for all sins, including the sin of unbelief, so everybody goes to heaven.

Now it’s not as simple as that, but I’ve had pastors and ‘thinkers’ SHOVE Arminianism down my throat long enough that I’m now completely peevish about even so much as the basic premise of the argument.  The truth of the matter is that the doctrine of Election (predestination/Calvinism) puts God in control, and Armenianism (freewill/Universalism) elevates man so that his place is most important.  By the way, Wesleyans, CGM churches, and liberal ‘religions’ choose Armenianism and place great emphasis on it, because they want to be *something*.  And for me, that’s a HUGE red flag.

What’s even a bigger red flag is the fact that there are two choices presented to us, and we’re being TOLD we have to take one or the other.  Both attributed to mere, fallible men, both on opposite ends of the spectrum.  And those who try to find middle ground find themselves not sure what the HELL they DO believe, so let’s not even go there.  But it pisses me off because it BITES that we can only trace things back to two fallible, un-credible, imperfect men.  Heaven forbid we actually go back to God for Truth.  ((scowls))  Yes, I’m churlish about this.  And now that I’ve introduced you to two men and two movements, let’s say goodbye to them and turn to Romans.  Because I don’t give a shit about Arminius or Calvin, to be blunt.

Let’s go to Romans, since Paul addressed this VERY issue right there.  Romans 9:6-15, to start:  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.  For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.  And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;   (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth😉  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.   For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

NOT ALL JEWS ARE JEWS.  That’s what it says.  Abraham was the father of many nations.  He was a Jew.  But only the children of his son Isaac were given God’s promise.  Further, not all of Isaac’s children were given God’s promise – only the children of Jacob – and that promise was made to Jacob before He was born or could CHOOSE for HIMSELF if he would even serve God!!  Is that unfair of God?  Hell, no!  He’s God – He can do whatever the heck He wants!  It’s His world, His love story, His way.  And there’s not a thing Arminius or anyone else can say to change the fact that GOD SAID it will be HIM that chooses.  Man is NOT in charge.  Man has no say.  God said so – right here, thru Paul!  Continuing on in verse 18- 21:

Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Ouch.  It’s like this:  If God is in control, then He’s in control of you, too.  Of your every decision.  He knows what you’re going to do before you do it, or He wouldn’t be omnipotent, now would He?  And He’s about thru with men thinking they have some say in the matter.  Who does man think he is?  He’s created, and he thinks he has a say in what the Creator does?  I think not!

So why would God make people that are unrighteous?  What’s the point?  More on this tomorrow.

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