Here are some typical questions and objections to Calvinism and Christian behaviour, with my responses.
1. “Can anyone “choose” to be a believer?”
Answer: One view is that the Father looks down the corridors of time to see who will make a decision to accept the gift of salvation. On this basis, the prospective believer is given to the Son from eternity, but if the believer does not practice his faith, he goes to hell. In theological jargon, this kind of Christian is an Arminian (someone who opens the door of her heart to Jesus. He cannot open the door from the outside because there is only one doorknob – on the inside).
2. No one knows if they are chosen by God (among his elect).
Answer: From the Calvinist perspective, no one cares about this until they are (in their deadened spiritual state) drawn (raised up) to believe. Once they believe, they either lean to the Arminian or Calvinist view. Imperfect understanding does not disqualify one from being among the “elect.”
3. “How about that puzzling quote from Christ where he tells some followers to get away, he never knew them? ”
Answer: There are hordes of “followers” of Jesus. They follow a distorted picture of Jesus. One example is “as long as you are good and kind to people and work for world peace” you’re a follower.
4. “I have seen “moral” Christian subscribers, I have seen “immoral” Christian subscribers. I have seen “moral” non-Christians, Muslims, atheists, etc. I have seen “immoral” ones.”
Answer: The central teaching of Christ is that one believe that in the shedding of his blood he took upon himself the sins of those whom the Father gave to him (the elect) and reconciled them to (made them right with) with His Father. For Christ, the crucial thing is “believe IN” him; for the world; the important thing is to try and make the world a better place. A Christian, of course, should be good and kind.
5. “I don’t get the part about if you’re a ‘true’ Christian, you will not willingly sin.”
Answer: “Willingly” is not the best way to put it. It’s more a Christian’s attitude, the desire to break bad habits.
6. “I have a bad taste in my mouth from many of the “Christians” I encounter. Most haven’t even fully read the entire book they profess to support.”
Answer: True, most haven’t; they get by on the minimum. If so, they could very well be merely professing Christians.
7. “Of those who have, many do not possess the intellectual capacity to understand, explain or question it. Not saying that should be a requirement, but it would also help to have intelligent marketers to spread your word, that being an act you are supposed to fulfill.”
Answer: All that Christ requires is that you renew the mind you’ve got. The Bible caters for all levels of mental capacity.
8. “I am hurt every time a “Christian” approaches me to attempt conversion, yet runs as fast as he/she can when it is my turn to espouse my dogma. Seems unfair and narrow-minded. Are you guys afraid to hear other viewpoints? I welcome and respect your right to speak and share, but please- afford me the same respect when it is my turn.”
Answer Christians who do this are pathetic. Most do not do this. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
9. “At the end of the day, we all arrive at our personal dogma through the same untested means, and therefore, should afford one another equal respect. If I disrespect yours, I am in effect disrespecting my own.”
Answer: Most religions hold that there exists a personal God who communicates with mankind. This communication must be consistent. As religions contradict one another, only one can be right (I’m talking about hose who have a religion). You believe in “your truth my truth.” In other words, truth is subjective, it’s what you feel. Christians and most other religions teach objective truth – distinct from your heart and neurons.
- Arminians who confuse and refuse: free will in coming to Christ (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
- Archibald Alexander and how we come to faith: Thank God that he never depends on human understanding to bring us to faith (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
- The Chimera of Neo-gnostic Calvinism (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
- Passive Christianity (davidstheology.wordpress.com)