Cognitive dissonance occurs among Calvinists when they try to distance themselves from the inevitable conclusions drawn by the logical implications of their own systematic. One example is that Calvinists insist that God ordains sin, such that, without a divine ordination of sin, sin would otherwise have no purpose, meaning that sin would become merely meaningless and random, whereas in Calvinism, all sin has a specific purpose originating from within the total plan of God, decreed and rendered certain by Him from before the foundation of the world. So, does that mean that God is the “author of sin”? Calvinists deny this. But how? That is a prime example of the cognitive dissonance which frequently occurs among Calvinists when they deny the inevitable conclusions drawn by the logical implications of their own systematic.
The idea behind “Double Predestination” is that if God eternally determined to create an “elect class” who alone are predestined to spend eternity with Him in Heaven, then the other side of the coin, logically speaking, is that those outside of such an “elect class” will spend eternity somewhere else, such as Hell. So, logic dictates that people will go to Hell simply because they weren’t elected to go to Heaven. Calvinists, however, often vehemently reject this type of logical symmetry, but the following series of questions will demonstrate that despite a Calvinist’s reservations, the dark conclusion is unavoidable:
- Do you, as a Calvinist, believe that God created the “elect” with the intention of spending eternity with Him in Heaven?
That seems fairly straight-forward, and Calvinists will easily affirm it.
- Do you, as a Calvinist, believe that God created the “nonelect” also with the same intention of spending eternity with Him in Heaven?
Calvinists (who are not Universalists) will overwhelmingly answer “no.”
- Where do you, as a Calvinist, believe that God intended for the “non-elect” to spend eternity, if not with Him in Heaven?
Aside from “High Calvinists” or “Hyper Calvinists,” don’t expect a straight-forward answer such as “Hell.” A more moderate Calvinist will instead say something like, “Salvation is all of God while damnation is all of man.” Obviously, this doesn’t answer the question, and frankly, it is not designed to do so. Calvinists sometimes try to avoid these type of logical conundrums and instead defer to “mystery.” Nonetheless, keep pressing.
- Since Calvinism teaches that God has decreed “whatsoever comes to pass,” wouldn’t it be impossible to say that God simply put no thought into where the non-elect might spend eternity?
By speaking of God’s intended destination, this cuts right through the fog of “Preterition” vs. “Reprobation.” The result is this: If someone is not a member of an “elect class,” then before they were born, and before they had ever done anything good or bad, God intended for them to spend eternity in Hell. Is this what Calvinists mean when they sometimes refer to “hard truths”?
What do Calvinists believe?
The non-elect are dead rebel sinners who don’t want God and hate God, and God doesn’t owe them anything.
The discussion is about God’s eternal intentions, meaning before they were ever born—before they were ever a dead, rebel sinner.