I have seen a few posts lately from Calvinist blogs about why people reject Calvinism. One Calvinist blogger stated that the real reason that people reject Calvinism is because we are prideful and want credit for our own salvation.
Is that really the case for Arminians such as myself? Do I reject Calvinism because I am prideful and I want to share some glory with Jesus for His saving me on the cross?
The real reason that we Arminians reject Calvinism is the character of God. It is not our pride. It is not our love of free will or any other mockery. It is simply that we find the character of God to be loving and good in the Bible (as Calvinists would agree) and from that we believe that He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Further, free will flows not from man being prideful or the center of our theology but from our view that God created us with the capacity to be free moral agents who, through His grace, choose to love Him and worship Him. A forced relationship is not a loving relationship. I love my wife dearly and did not force her to love me. I wooed her with my charms and good looks or maybe my money. I wish. It was nothing of that. When I asked her to marry me, she said yes out of her love for me and not because I pushed her or forced her so that she could do nothing. She chose to marry me as I chose to marry her.
This is true of the Church as well. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says that Jesus redeemed us and He bought us with His own blood (Acts 20:28; cf. John 10:11). Paul warned in 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 that he had betrothed the Corinthians to one husband, Christ. Christ is our Savior and Lord and He is our redeemer. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:10). We love Him and follow Him not out of “inward” calls that we could not do otherwise but we follow Him because we love Him and desire to follow Him (John 1:12-13). The very nature of God is seen in John 3:16, that He truly loves the world and desires to save the world through Christ (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 John 2:2). We believe that God demonstrates His great love for us with the giving of His Son (Romans 5:8-9). We come into a saving relationship with God through faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-27; 5:1; 10:13; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 4:10). All those who appropriate the work of Christ are His elect. Those who reject Christ are the lost (Mark 16:15-16).
The bottom line is that we reject Calvinism not because of human pride or that we want credit for our salvation. Rather, we reject Calvinism because of the nature of God. The divine determinism of God in Calvinism is a God who not only controls all things but is the cause of all things even sin. If the Calvinist view of God’s sovereignty is correct, God renders all things certain for His own glory and purposes including sin. How does this not make God the author of sin when Scripture clearly says that He is not (James 1:12-15)? Furthermore, the divine determinism of God makes man not free at all. Man does what God has predestined him to do whether it be to praise Him (which seems is few in comparison) or to reject Him. As Dr. Roger Olson has stated, in Calvinism, there is not much difference between God and Satan other than Satan wants to kill all while God wants to kill most. No wonder this view of God, as John Wesley said, makes our blood boil.
I love Calvinists. I reject Calvinism. I can love Calvinists while rejecting their theology. God doesn’t save us because we hold to Arminianism or Calvinism. He saves us by His grace. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 that divisions are not beneficial to the cause of Christ. Divisions break Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-22. Division, according to Romans 16:17 is a sign of rebellion. I would not divide with my Calvinist brother or sister who is passionate for Christ or His kingdom over the issues related to Arminianism and Calvinism. We are saved through faith in Christ alone and not by our theological systems.
This post was written by the Seeking Disciple. You can find the original post here