15
Jun
09

Hyper-Calvinism and Philosophical Considerations

The short comprehensible version.

Calvinists claim that the doctrine of “Perseverance of the Saints” (unconditional eternal security) provides eternal confidence, and those who are saved (elected) may never be lost.  Does the doctrine of “Particular Predestination” cause the believer to be more secure than the “Universal Call” of “whosoever believeth”?  In actual fact, is it possible that the doctrine of election might actually cause a lack of eternal assurance?

For 25 years I have labored in thirteen denominations represented by churches from Pentecostal to Presbyterian. In all of these churches, those professing Christ, have demonstrated “Christian assurance.” Christian security is not the sole possession of a denominational class. No person is saved by a doctrine. They are saved by a Savior. Even among Wesleyans, Nazarenes, Salvation Army, Free Methodist and United Methodist, those who claim to have embraced the gospel, as a general rule never question their eternal hope. Perhaps they should but they don’t. Christian assurance has little to do with Scriptural facts and everything to do with an internal Presence.

What assures any individual that he or she is among the elect?  Is it possible to live an entire life under the impression that you are elected, only to discover that you are not elected and doomed to hell?  If this might be true, then what prevents the opposite from being true?  Is it possible to live an entire life, confident that you are probably not one of the elect (living sinfully), and then discover that you are one of the elect and pre-ordained to heaven?  In either case, you are either doomed to heaven or to hell.

It is argued that the evidence of election is godly living. Could the unelected feign godly living in order to prove to himself or herself (and others) that they are among the elect?

When those who claim that they are among the elect are asked for the source of their confidence they often argue “the witness of the Spirit” (Romans 8:16).  This amounts to the same answer that one might get from an Arminian.  Both the Calvinist and the Arminian hang their hopes on the same thing, a subjective experience of internal evidence for their conversion, their election.

If election is determined (foreordained) by God in eternity past, what purpose is there in convincing people of this doctrine?  In believing the doctrines of Calvinism, no one who is unelected is made more elected.  Of those elect (assuming that some Wesleyan – Arminians may be among the elect) who do not believe in particular predestination, coming to believe in particular predestination in no way guarantees that they are more elect than they were before.  Except as a means of proselytizing others, why should any electionist feel compelled to convince any other person of the truth of personal election?

The argument presented by Calvinists as to why they aggressively share this doctrine of ordination among believers is that those who learn of election have their understanding of grace increased and this brings deeper appreciation for the work of Christ. Is this so? This is purely hypothetical in nature as there is no test to affirm their assertion regarding this. Jesus simply declared, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47. (KJV)

Further, if a person does not believe in unconditional eternal security, is he nevertheless unconditionally eternally secure according to the articles of High Calvinism?  Other than for purposes of proselytizing others, what is the point of convincing another of the doctrine of “once saved, always saved”?  If the “once saved” are “always saved”, whether they know it or not is immaterial.  Even those who do not believe in unconditional eternal security are unconditionally, eternally secure if they prove to be among the elect.  Should anyone that is genuinely convinced of unconditional eternal security feel any compulsion to convince others of this truth?

Calvinists maintain that the doctrine of “Absolute Sovereignty” exalts and honors God while issues surrounding “free will” exalt men.  Because of this, they argue that Calvinism causes humility in man whereas free will causes arrogance on the part of man.  Is this true?  Is it possible that the opposite characterization might be a more accurate description?  How might particular predestination actually cause human as well as doctrinal arrogance?

According to High-Calvinism, God has decreed a certain number of individuals to be saved.  These have been declared as intimately known individuals prior to their humanity.  He has determined this in eternity past, based upon the counsel of His own sovereign will.  This cannot be altered in any measure.  Those who were not elected may not become elected and those who were elected can never become un-elected.  This is undoubtedly “theological determinism” (See: Islam).  How then does the Scriptural idea of sowing and reaping (the law of the harvest) work itself out in practical ways?  (See: John 4:35).

Nevertheless, it appears that there are two possible conclusions based upon observation.  This, of course, is predicated on the basis that those who appear to be converted people are actually among the elect.  In nations where there has been unusual evangelistic effort, there are apparent unusual and corresponding conversion results that support the concept that abundant sowing results in abundant harvest (“The entrance of thy Word giveth light… Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God… The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”)  God does not appear to be predisposed to discriminate on an individual basis or cultural bias but fully intends that all men might be saved.

“The preaching of the cross is the power of God unto salvation”

“…it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, men should be saved”

“I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some”

One cannot be intellectually honest and in practice deny their philosophical system.  For instance, it is unreasonable to argue for world evangelism and at the same time believe in the “absolute sovereignty” of High-Calvinism.  The elect are the elect.  They are the elect with or without the exercise of human effort, which is an expression of human will. The gift of the evangelist or the giftedness of the evangelist is rendered unnecessary.

One cannot argue for the foreordination of the means.  There is no further means required. The means of “Particular Predestination” is the predetermined counsel of God plus nothing.  By sovereign decree,the elect will be the elect. The condemned will be the condemned.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Hyper-Calvinism and Philosophical Considerations”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: