Calvinist Bad Logic #12 and #13: "Repent?" and "Free-Will Equals Same Choice"
Bad Logic #12: People ask Calvinists "How can God call all people to repent and to believe in Him if He predestines most people to hell, knowing that they can NEVER repent or believe in Him because He won't cause them to? How can He call us to do things He knows we can’t do?"
To trap people with this one, they will say "Well, God calls us to be holy too, knowing that we can never reach holiness."
Yes, it's true that He calls us to be holy knowing we can never actually be holy, but that is the goal we are aiming for, that we can and should aim for, constantly pursuing holiness, even if we fall short.
But Calvinist predestination is a whole different ballgame! Once again, it's Calvi-god calling people to repent and believe, but then actively preventing them from repenting and believing, creating them from the very beginning to be unrepentant non-believers who can NEVER repent or believe because he made it impossible for them, because Calvi-Jesus never even died for them.
Calvinism is Calvi-god calling people to be holy but then causing them to be unholy! Totally backwards!
I can command my kids to clean their room thoroughly, putting everything away and cleaning every nook and cranny, knowing that they never can clean perfectly because they can't suck up the dirt that's trapped under the carpet or find a place for all their toys because they have too many toys and not enough storage space. But I challenge them to try, to keep working towards it as best they can.
But Calvinism would be like me commanding them to clean their room perfectly while I lock the door so that they can't even get into their rooms. And then I punish them for not cleaning their room! Illogical and contradictory!
Calvinism isn't just "we can't do what God commands perfectly." It's "Calvi-god actively prevents us from doing what he commands, he causes us to do the opposite of what he commands, and then he punishes us for it." Huge difference!
They also like to use the example of 10 murderers on death row, and God walks into the room, points to one of the men, and says "I'll spare this person." And He saves that one person but leaves the other 9 to face the fate they deserve.
They'll say "Is it wrong or unfair of God to choose to spare some people but to let others face their fate? Can He not choose to spare some people in His gracious love, but allow others, in His justice and wrath, to face the punishment they deserve for their sins? After all, we all deserve hell. He didn't have to save anyone. So the fact that He chose to save anyone - when we all deserve death - shows how gracious He is." (If you bring up “How can God send people to hell for the things He predestined, never giving them a chance,” they’ll switch it to “Let’s look instead at how great God is for saving anyone at all!”)
But ... that's not what's happening here in Calvi-land!
Calvi-god isn't stepping in and graciously rescuing sinners who brought their own consequences on themselves. In Calvi-land, Calvi-god first created those 10 men to be murderers. He caused those men to conceive of the murders and to commit the murders. And they never had a choice to do anything differently! And that’s why they are on death row to begin with.
And so Calvi-god stepping in to save one of them isn't gracious, not when he's the very cause and reason they are all there in the first place. Not when they were never really responsible for their crimes, when they never had a choice. (Yet Calvinists, as I said, find all sorts of ways to get their precious Calvi-god off the hook for sin. But it's always contradictory garbage!)
Nonsense and hogwash!
Do not let them trap you with their examples. The examples are usually good examples with some logical truth in them. But it's not representative of what Calvinism is really saying! Always examine their examples and "reasoning" for the things that are inconsistent with their theology. Always!
Bad Logic #13: I don't get this one, but Calvinists assume that if free-will was real (and it is!), then we would all want and choose the same things if given the same options.
"And so," they say, "if all people really had the choice between choosing eternal life or choosing eternal death, all people would obviously choose eternal life. No one would willingly choose eternal death. So therefore, since all people don’t choose eternal life in Jesus, this proves that we don't really have a choice about it. Because if we did, we'd all choose eternal life."
And they use this strange, philosophical reasoning to accuse non-Calvinists of boasting, as if non-Calvinists think there must be something innately “better" or "smarter" about them that would make them "choose Jesus" whereas others don’t. They say “Are you saying there’s something better about you that makes you more capable of choosing Jesus than those who don’t?”
And I say, "Huh!?!"
So because there are people who don’t choose Jesus, it must mean that salvation is not a choice because if it was then all would inevitably choose Jesus!?!
To them, we are all exactly the same, and so if we had the same choices, we would all choose the same thing. And so therefore since we don't all choose the same thing (some choose Jesus, some don't) then this must mean we don't really have a real choice about the matter. Which must mean that Calvi-god makes the choice for us.
What a strange belief to have about humans and choices! And even stranger to build your theology on it!
(For all the posts in this series, see the "Intro ..." Or look for "'Calvinist Bad Logic' Series" in the labels on the side-bar. Or find the whole series in one post, "When Calvinism's 'Bad Logic ' Traps Good Christians.")