By: John Hendryx. Original post here
It seems that Calvinism believes that all were not created equally but
that some were preordained to eternal life and some to eternal
damnation. Aren't there some moral problems with this view point?
First I think it is important to note that the Bible teaches that ALL
men are EQUALLY guilty of sin so it would be just if God saved no one.
If anyone is saved it is pure unconditional mercy. If anyone is damned
it is justice. God is not a respecter of persons so He does not choose
people based on ANY advantage, merit, good will or virtue He sees in
them. And he did not damn them apart from the fact that they were
In what may seem ironic to some, it is actually the
non-Augustinian/non-Calvinist who believes NOT ALL were created EQUALLY
.. since in such views they must ascribe their repenting and believing
to their own wisdom, humility, sound judgement or good sense (at least
partly) and not to Christ alone. In other words, synergists have to
concede that they believe in Jesus and their neighbor doesn't because of
some native wisdom they have that their neighbor doesn't. This means
that skeptics of 'grace alone' believe God's love is CONDITIONAL... we
must meet a condition if we are to trigger God's love toward us so that
He will save us. But the Bible does not teach grace is a reward for
faith but the cause of it.
In Calvinism God's love for his people
is unconditional. He determines to save a people for Himself (which he
has predestined in love Eph. 1:4-5) out of the mass of ill-deserving
sinners in spite of our rebellion and hardened will. In Christ he does
for us what we were unwilling to do for ourselves and He gives us
everything we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe (Deut
29:4, 30:6; John 6:63-65). We believe BECAUSE of grace, not in order to
In this view no one is chosen because they are
better but because of His sovereign good pleasure. There is no better
reason in the universe than that. Can you think of any?
Visitor: There are some issues that original sin bring up. Is it moral to punish everyone for a sin committed by Adam and Eve? Or do you consider the passage to be an allegory ? Excessively harsh punishments are immoral. For example if a man stole a loaf of bread would it be moral to put him in jail for life? The sins that one may commit in his or her life are not bad enough for eternal damnation. It does not seem right that God would create man imperfect and punish him forever for not having the ability to be perfect.
Response: It is not reasonable or coherent to call God immoral unless you can point to an absolute standard of morality that is greater than He. The whole concept of immorality requires a standard to appeal to, or you are only giving a personal preference which has zero authority. So anyone who claims NOT to believe in God and yet appeals to moral absolutes which He should be subject to is being inconsistent with his relativism and committing intellectual suicide. He reveals deep down he knows there is a just God.
Also, it does not follow that if God created man with the ability to make voluntary choices that He "created man imperfect." God declared his creation of Adam and Eve to be "very good".
As for excessive punishment ... if you sin against an infinitely holy God by your rebellion against Him then you are working with an entirely different idea than if you merely sinned against a man. Eternal damnation is not the result of man merely stealing a loaf of bread but of putting ourselves in the place of God as the ultimate authority. All sin is a direct challenge to the first commandment - a rejection of Him as our parent and His authority. And we continue to sin and rebel against God's authority -- as if we were cheering Adam on in his sin against God. Our sinful actions demonstrate that we are sons of Adam and maintain solidarity with him.