Thursday, 6 March 2014

Whosoever or Whosover will


In the middle of an interesting discussion with whoever runs the Arminian Society twitter account. Assuming that they do not remove their tweets, you can follow the ongoing debate here. It all revolves round this article which basically accuses the Calvinist of bad faith in making the free offer of the gospel. Or to be more correct, it accuses the Calvinist of having God act in bad faith, which is even worse again. This bad faith idea is done under the illustration of someone being offered a bad cheque.  Some thoughts on this still developing debate:

1) The article seems to accept that Calvinists do present the free offer of the gospel. At least, that is good. 

2) From the Arminian point of view, the debate (in order to survive) needs to go into the very wide field of hypothetical thinking. IOW if facts get in your way, then create your own needed fantasy world to try and push through your objection. No wonder it is my contention that #Calvinism is ultimately safe and that all attacks upon it when it is presented properly in its classic i.e. Biblical manner will wallow in their own failure

3)  This fantasy world grew bigger with the debate. The implication in one tweet was that God  "made sure the people we offer it to won't try to cash it" i.e. the cheque. This is not the Calvinism of the real world where no violence is offered to the will of the creature, but the fantasy Calvinism of the tweeter for the Arminian Society. FTR: Calvinism teaches that the sinner damns his own soul without Divine help.   

4) Lets go back to the debate when it first started off and before the fantasy stuff began to take over. It seems to me that we need to establish who actually is offered the said illustrative cheque and on what basis he has the right to cash it and expect payment. 

Salvation (which I understand to be the riches offered on the cheque) is not offered to "whosoever" but (and here is the crucial difference) to the "whosoever will". This does not mean that we go down the Hyper Calvinist route, which I totally reject as seen here:

... i.e. of only preaching the gospel to a select few, whom we in our arrogance think just may be elect. No, we preach indiscriminately (say) to all who gather in our church services or who pass by our open air meetings in the public street. But what do we offer? What is on the cheque? 

Suppose it is "whosoever" shall be saved, then who will actually be saved? Everyone! The phrase itself if left to itself cannot be limited and you basically end up with Universalism.  You do so grammatically and unless you change or somehow limit the word, you will end up with Universalism theologically. 

OTOH: The Bible declares that salvation is for a smaller group. The "Whosoever will" crowd, although a great multitude which no man can number, is actually smaller than the 'whosoever' crowd, because it omits the "whosoever wont" brigade. Do you see the great difference? 

In Revelation 22:17 it is the "whosoever will" who are invited to come and drink freely of the water of life. If someone is not willing to come - credited (or is it debited?) in John 3:19 as loving darkness rather than light - then there is no water of life for them. God does not give such to the unbelieving who are condemned already (John 3:18) and abide under His righteous wrath (John 3:36). They must become believers in order to partake of the water of life. 

In John 3:15/16 it is the "whosoever believeth" who can cash the cheque (to use the Arminian's chosen illustration) but not the "whosoever believeth not." 

 In Romans 10:13, it is the "whosoever calleth" who can cash the cheque, but not the "whosoever calleth not".

There is no bad faith here on God's part. The bad faith would be on the sinner's side for seeking to present a cheque that he had no right to have, never mind present. If I went to a bank with a cheque which I found on the street and written to some one else, and tried to pass myself off as that person and therefore entitled to the money, I would be guilty of fraud. The police could be called and, if justice ran its course, I would be judicially punished for my crime. 

The Calvinist offers salvation for the whoseover will/calleth/believeth. His terms of salvation are exactly the same as that of the Arminian and therefore if the one is guilty of bad faith, then the other is also. 

Perhaps this debate will rumble on a bit more. I felt I had to take to my blog here (which I set up in the wake of my twitter account) as less than 140 characters per tweet can often prove inadequate. 

Just a few thoughts from a happy Calvinist preaching salvation to the whosoever will in good faith.


Added note: The debate is now over. Obviously warming to the idea of creating a fantasy world, the Arminian Society tweeter sought to have Calvinism teach that God caused sin. I thought it best to leave him or her to their chosen delusion on this matter and get back into the mainstream once again. FTR: I don't believe that all Arminians go down this route and therefore refrain from blaming all who hold that system of thought.



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