written by SEA member, Roy Ingle
I saw this posted on Twitter and have received this complaint before. The reasoning is that in Calvinism God is allowed to be sovereign so that all that comes to pass happens because God wills it so (Ephesians 1:11 is the cited passage for this view). Arminians then despise the sovereignty of God because we deny that God wills all that comes to pass.
Calvinism is not actually congruent on this issue. Some Calvinists (hyper-Calvinists) hold that all that happens including sin and the Fall of Man are all planned and rendered certain by God. Other Calvinists would say that God merely allows sin to take place even though He knows it is going to happen and wills it so. How God escapes being the author of sin in either view is beyond me. Most Calvinists simply say that since God is holy and good then even when He plans evil, it is good. They point to events such as the crucifixion of the Son of God as proof of this view (Acts 2:22-23).
Arminianism holds to the sovereignty of God but we believe that God limits Himself so that true loving relationships may exist. God created Adam and Eve as free will creatures but what or whom was responsible for their fall into sin? I would argue that Adam and Eve fell because they disobeyed God out of their own free will. The same would be true for you and I. We sin because we want to sin. We sin not because Satan makes us or God wills it so but because we have free will and can rebel against God. The nation of Israel is proof of this. God allowed Israel to have a covenant relationship with Him wherein He called them to obey Him and if they did, He would bless them (Deuteronomy 8). No doubt God chose Israel for His glory (Deuteronomy 9:1-5) but He likewise warned them not to rebel as they had in the past (Deuteronomy 9:6-11) but the people, out of their own free will, rebelled against God anyway (Deuteronomy 9:12-21). It took Moses’ intercession to turn away the wrath of God (Deuteronomy 9:25-29).
The reality is that Arminianism does not deny the sovereignty of God but we do not exalt God’s sovereignty to the exclusion of His grace, His mercy, or His love. The cross demonstrates that God loves His creation and desires to have a covenant relationship with them through faith in His Son (John 1:11-13; 3:16; 5:24; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 2 Peter 3:9). All who call upon the name of the Lord can be saved (Romans 10:13). The promise of salvation is given to all (Acts 2:38-39). All can come and drink of the water of life (Revelation 22:17). The cross shows the great love of God for His creatures (Romans 5:8-9; 1 John 4:10, 14).
So we don’t deny the sovereignty of God. We simply acknowledge that God, in His sovereignty, has placed a condition upon salvation and that is faith. When a sinner repents of their sins, they become part of the elect of God whom He foreknew (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:1-2). The elect are only those who believe (1 Timothy 4:10). We acknowledge that Scripture teaches both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of humanity to believe the gospel. Both are true.
For the original post, go to: http://arminiantoday.com/2012/10/28/arminians-despise-the-sovereignty-of-god/