My Problem with Calvinism

Our destiny is decided.  What we want doesn’t matter.  Whether we follow the path of righteousness and enter heaven or follow a path of evil and find hell awaiting us after death is all predetermined.  Hell, whether we choose Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms for breakfast tomorrow morning has already been decided too.  Predestination – one of the illogical pillars of Calvinism that I despise.

Calvinism is even illogical from a religious perspective.  Double predestination assumes not only does God choose a few elite persons  (at random?) to go to heaven, but that the rest of us poor saps are going to hell, forever, and there’s nothing we can do about it.  What kind of loving creator creates something to ultimately be tortured for eternity?  If we go by that logic, assuming there is no such thing as free will, then not only is God himself responsible for sin and evil, but also for our eternal damnation.  Surely this can’t be the case.

I mean seriously.  Does it at all seem logical for an all loving, all just, creator to build something, specifically programmed to behave a certain way – then arbitrarily choose most of them to spend the rest of time in pain and agony.  When you created them to be exactly as they are!  Free will seems infinity more logical and just.

The Dangers of Calvinism

The Calvinist way of thinking is a dangerous one.  It’s essentially a hopeless one.  Why do anything when you are doomed to hell or blessed with heaven by no actions of your own?  (Although I’m sure all people who are actually Calvinist believe they are part of the elect selected by God to go to Heaven.  How convenient.) If you do not feel the call of God, you are going to hell anyways, so why live?  Calvinism essentially leads to an overall environment of moral nihilism.

In fact, it only makes sense that people who believe they are going to heaven are Calvinist.  Is anyone a Calvinist who actually believes they are doomed to Hell?  What a bunch of elitist pricks.

The Undeniable Logic of Free Will

If you are a Christian you MUST believe in free will.  If not, what point was it for Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind?  The fate of the people have already been decided. By the Calvinist’s logic: God decided in advance who goes to heaven or hell, then sent himself to earth to die on the cross for sinners, sinners who he had already decided were going to heaven or hell anyways. Right?

This is all Bullshit Anyways  

Look folks, if we are going to start cherry picking versus from the Bible to support our way of thinking we may as well consider ourselves screwed anyways.  Calvanist pull versus like “…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will…” to demonstrate clear references to predestination.

Alright, fine. I’ll pull this one “Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. 23:20 She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions. This is how you assessed the obscene conduct of your youth, when the Egyptians fondled your nipples and squeezed your young breasts.” (Ezekiel 23:19-20)  The only thing I’m wondering is – are my genitals supposed to be “as large as those of donkeys” or am I missing something?  Wow.

In the End

If you are religious and believe in God – use a little common sense.  The Bible isn’t literal and once we understand that – Calvinism starts falling apart.  If you aren’t religious – well, you know.

12 thoughts on “My Problem with Calvinism

  1. Rattlesnake

    Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. 23:20 She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions. This is how you assessed the obscene conduct of your youth, when the Egyptians fondled your nipples and squeezed your young breasts.

    Is that really from the Bible? It sounds more like something from an erotic novel.

  2. Matt

    Oh boy. I hate to do this but if you really want to see a Calvinist in action post this over at The Fighting Fundamentals or something similar. You would really stir the pot with a pitchfork.

    I think, like most things, if you shoot for the middle you find the truth. I guess if you don’t buy into it all you’ll find something more resembling the truth.

    Calvinism, if taken to the extreme that you’ve taken it is a load of crap. There are many who do take it that far. Some have taken it so far to say that sharing your faith is a sin because if God wanted them to be saved He’d do it Himself.

    However, Calvinism also paints a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. I’m sure you’re familiar with Calvinism’s TULIP acronym. The ideas of irresistible grace and unconditional election are truly indicative of God’s love.

    The idea that we are God’s inheritance and He want’s us to believe so badly that He died and pursues us on a daily basis is a beautiful thing. Put that with the idea that we are completely undeserving and when we’re saved we’re saved directly from that undeserving place. There is no working up to it or becoming good enough finally. We believe and we’re given the very righteousness of God.

    Now, where is the middle in all of this? I can’t believe either that God creates people who are destined for hell and they have no control over that fact. The Bible says that God is love. It also says that we are created in His image and likeness. That tells me that my sense of right and wrong, or my conscience comes from Him. The idea of double predestination makes my skin crawl.

    While I basically believe what the TULIP explains I also believe that ultimately we have to decide to believe. The most famous verse in the Bible says that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that WHOSOEVER believes in Him WILL be saved.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 or 20 cents. I really didn’t mean to be preachy, and apologize if this came across that way.

    1. Atticus Finch

      Not preachy at all. I appreciate the perspective from someone who shares similar religious beliefs. Calvinism has always bothered me from the perspective that it seems to take any responsibility of one’s salvation out of the hands of the individual themselves.

      1. reconciledme

        Though I do appreciate some of its points I agree with you. It can leave you wondering why someone would pay God any mind if it will all work out eventually. It’s a far more nuanced position than it appears though and guys like John Piper and Matt Chandler handle those nuances very well.

  3. Holden

    Apart from the extreme views of Calvinism, if you really get down to it, all Abrahamic religious traditions sort adhere to this idea of predestination.

    God is the alpha and omega, beginning and end. Before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, he knew you. So then he knows what will become of you, since he is omnipresent.

    I never quite could wrap my mind around it back when I used to be religious. We have this free will to make what we will with it, yet God already knows what we’ll do, meaning its basically a done deal….


  4. philebersole

    Atticus, everything you say about Calvinism makes sense. But if you look at the parts of the world that were shaped by Calvinism, there is a mystery to be explained. Historically Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland, the New England states, the maritime provinces of Canada were all cultures that valued hard work, thrift, education, self-government, entrepreneurial business and resistance to monarchs and established churches. What is the logical connection between these traits and Calvinist doctrine? I have no idea.

    1. Atticus Finch

      I honestly do not think the idea of predestination comes into the minds of Calvinist on a day to day basis. They still act and react to stimuli the same way as anyone else even if they do believe their life is planned in advance by God.

      They move out of the way when a train comes, they respond to incentive, etc. I tend to believe, that except for the most radical, ones religious beliefs play only a small role in ones overall decision making in a day to day setting.

      That being said, the values you mentioned (hard work, thrift, education, self-government, entrepreneurial business and resistance to monarchs) are more values instilled culturally that are not directly related to sharing Calvinist principals. Rather I think it is more likely those principals are more related to the values and history of the people.

      We see similar thing with blacks in the South who are predominantly Baptist. Even though the population is mostly poor and under educated its not necessarily because they are Baptist, but due to other factors such as a history of discrimination, lack of opportunity, etc.

      Conversely, today the black community is rapidly fighting being poor and under educated in the South and quickly turning into an educated and increasingly middle class group, again not because they are Baptist or share Baptist beliefs, but due to other external factors…

  5. jon

    As I read your post pointing out the contradictions in Calvinism and some of the nonsense that religions are based upon, I remembered a phrase that an uncle of mine used to say when he thought something was obviously ridiculous: “What’s the use of talking.” (As in, certain things are so off-the-wall that they’re almost not worth talking about it).

  6. Becky

    Wow, that made me laugh. If a person tries to be honest about the logic in calvinism you will be treated like battery acid by the religious types that love their tulips. Inserting the truth of the horrors their theology is suggesting can get you kicked out of a church more or less. I know. Good post. I have a knack for stating things in a way that others call provocative. I finally feel that I am not alone 😉


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