Where is the love in Calvinism?

Theophilus

Member
This is a thread from the old forum. I was told by the administrator that unfortunately they're not able to migrate the old form into the new something about copyright infringement. So I'll just do a workaround and throw the link up here back to that thread. I believe there was some really good posts on it.


Also Civic posted A thread entitled "Does God love everyone?" It is very good.

 
God loves Jacob. ❤️
Well yeah but...
Paul writes a difficult statement in Romans 9:13:
Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.
Since God is love and “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” how does that work?
The answer is two-fold.

First, on a personal level, God—being outside of time—knows the life decisions each one of us will make of our own free will. He saw the lives of Jacob and Esau before the foundation of the world and knew the directions they would choose. He knew Jacob’s heart would be His, just as He knew Esau would remain a carnal man.

One might say that God hated the way he was going to live his life in defiance of his creator. And the fact that he chose to do that.

Our choices are completely of our own free will. Otherwise, we would be predestined robots, manipulated into error or salvation by God as He controls our lives and outcomes. Yes, there are times when God intervenes, but we have the tendency of sticking God with everything that happens to us. We seem to forget we 1) live in a fallen world, 2) we have a spiritual enemy who hates us and seeks to steal, kill and destroy, 3) we make bad choices and 4) we can be affected by others’ bad choices.

So, God didn’t force Jacob into spiritual communion with Him, no more than He forced Esau to remain base. God knew in advance the courses they would take, so maybe His affections were based upon that foreknowledge?
 

Matthew 5:43-45
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Luke 6:35
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Since Christ is God He commands us to love our enemies just like God loves His enemies. While we were yet enemies Christ died for us.
 
God knew in advance the courses they would take, so maybe His affections were based upon that foreknowledge?

How would you fit that into:

(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), (Rom. 9:11 NKJ)

He kind of seems to make a real point that it's based on something:

1. before they were born.
2. not on the good or evil they had done
3. the purpose of election instead
4. not "of works"
 
How would you fit that into:

(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), (Rom. 9:11 NKJ)

He kind of seems to make a real point that it's based on something:

1. before they were born.
2. not on the good or evil they had done
3. the purpose of election instead
4. not "of works"
What? You don't like God looking down the corridors of time defense. :) Okay let's try a different one.

As for Rom. 9:11, This portion of the Bible is part of Paul’s explanation of the Gospel. As we know Calvinists take Romans chapter 9 through 11 and imagine that these three chapters prove their views on the doctrine of election. The way they explain certain passages in these chapters leave many non-Calvinists scratching their heads.

The Book of Romans is most definitely a book that you cannot take one verse out of it and try to build a Doctrine around it. The reason being is that is one of the most organized books in the Bible.

In the first eight chapters Paul explains that most of his fellow-Jews rejected the Gospel. In many ways, the Jews were and are God’s chosen people, but most of them have not accepted the Messiah. Many in Paul’s day had made themselves “enemies” of the Gospel.

28 From the point of view of the Gospel (good news), they [the Jews, at present] are enemies [of God], which is for your advantage and benefit. But from the point of view of God’s choice (of election), they are still the beloved (dear to Him) for the sake of their forefathers. Romans 11:28

That makes me wonder, “If men are saved through faith in Christ, regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile, what happened to all the promises and commitments God made specifically to Israel?” Inquiring minds want to know!

If Christians, both Jew and Gentile, are the people of God, what happened to God’s relation to Israel? That's the question I take from Romans 9.

The good news is found in Romans10:1–4.

BRETHREN, [with all] my heart’s desire and goodwill for [Israel], I long and pray to God that they may be saved.
2 I bear them witness that they have a [certain] zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge.
3 For being ignorant of the righteousness that God ascribes [which makes one acceptable to Him in word, thought, and deed] and seeking to establish a righteousness (a means of salvation) of their own, they did not obey or submit themselves to God’s righteousness.
4 For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.

It reaffirms that all of Israel has a chance to believe and be saved. It begins with the apostle’s testimony that he prays for Israel and wants them to be to be saved. He says that their problem is that, “… being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, 'they' have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God… 'which is provided in Christ' to everyone that believes”.
 
What? You don't like God looking down the corridors of time defense. :) Okay let's try a different one.

As for Rom. 9:11, This portion of the Bible is part of Paul’s explanation of the Gospel. As we know Calvinists take Romans chapter 9 through 11 and imagine that these three chapters prove their views on the doctrine of election. The way they explain certain passages in these chapters leave many non-Calvinists scratching their heads.

The Book of Romans is most definitely a book that you cannot take one verse out of it and try to build a Doctrine around it. The reason being is that is one of the most organized books in the Bible.

In the first eight chapters Paul explains that most of his fellow-Jews rejected the Gospel. In many ways, the Jews were and are God’s chosen people, but most of them have not accepted the Messiah. Many in Paul’s day had made themselves “enemies” of the Gospel.

28 From the point of view of the Gospel (good news), they [the Jews, at present] are enemies [of God], which is for your advantage and benefit. But from the point of view of God’s choice (of election), they are still the beloved (dear to Him) for the sake of their forefathers. Romans 11:28

That makes me wonder, “If men are saved through faith in Christ, regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile, what happened to all the promises and commitments God made specifically to Israel?” Inquiring minds want to know!

If Christians, both Jew and Gentile, are the people of God, what happened to God’s relation to Israel? That's the question I take from Romans 9.

The good news is found in Romans10:1–4.

BRETHREN, [with all] my heart’s desire and goodwill for [Israel], I long and pray to God that they may be saved.
2 I bear them witness that they have a [certain] zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge.
3 For being ignorant of the righteousness that God ascribes [which makes one acceptable to Him in word, thought, and deed] and seeking to establish a righteousness (a means of salvation) of their own, they did not obey or submit themselves to God’s righteousness.
4 For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.

It reaffirms that all of Israel has a chance to believe and be saved. It begins with the apostle’s testimony that he prays for Israel and wants them to be to be saved. He says that their problem is that, “… being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, 'they' have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God… 'which is provided in Christ' to everyone that believes”.
Yes Jacob/Esau represents nations. Election, chosen does not equate to salvation otherwise all the Jews in the OT would of ben saved and we know they were not.
 
Didn't address the points.

I'm fine with the idea of God using foreknowledge (not "looking" at "corridors" of course) to base his calling on, as a logical principle.

This would be what scientists call "retrocausality."

The problem is fitting that in the text here.

Esau and Pharaoh were individuals here, in fact you yourself point out that a "nation" can't consider itself salvifically elect.

People try to defend OSAS in 10 and 11 by saying the branches are "groups" and not individuals as well, it just doesn't work, they are individual branches, peoples and destinies.

The questions here are:

1. What is the calling and what does it do, as only "serving" is mentioned.
2. For those who become a vessel of destruction, does "not of him who wills" mean merit by willing or acceptance of grace by willing.
3. The good or evil is defined in the very passage as "works of the Law," which exclude non-meritorious decisions.
4. Since all of Israel was in some way "elect" and one must make one's election "sure," what does election guarantee?

Verse 32 sums up Paul's ultimate conclusion of the whole chapter, and indicates the responsibility had boiled down to a choice to reject God's system of non-meritorious grace, rather than a unilateral divine decree to create some people to be destroyed.
 
Right about here. I could post multiple other men who loved God, loved the saints, and were Calvinists.


Those of you saying we, or the theology we ascribe too, are unloving need to repent.

I, for one, have never said Calvinism contains no love.

I have rather objected that Calvinism does not have a maximally loving God, nor maximally good and honest in relation to that.

It could also be argued that the basis of a love that is forced does not maximally glorify God.
 
I, for one, have never said Calvinism contains no love.

But some do. Or it can be inferred.

I have rather objected that Calvinism does not have a maximally loving God, nor maximally good and honest in relation to that.

There is nothing in the entire Bible that says more about the Love of God than the Gospel. Calvinists are pretty big on the Gospel. So I think your bias might be showing here rather than some deficiency in Calvinism.

It could also be argued that the basis of a love that is forced does not maximally glorify God.

Calvinism does not posit nor propose "forced love". This is in the "top myths" or, shall we say, untruths...aw heck, LIES, told about Calvinism. You might want to stop putting it forward.

Calvinism sets forth man as either "natural" / unregenerate and hating God or "born again / regenerated" and loving God. That change is no more forced than birth is forced on a baby. No "choice" is involved. The salvation of the sinner ( and his regenerated "natural" love for God ) maximally glorifies God. Well...it will once this mortal puts on immortality and corruption is put away and exchanged for power and perfection. But as well as a man can.
 
But some do. Or it can be inferred.

Calvinism contains a selective "love" that only benefit a "privileged" few? These "few" claim to be no different than anyone else yet demand self same privilege.

This is an extraordinarily untenable position.

There is nothing in the entire Bible that says more about the Love of God than the Gospel. Calvinists are pretty big on the Gospel. So I think your bias might be showing here rather than some deficiency in Calvinism.

False narrative. I just watched James White claim he didn't have to get the Gospel message perfect because salvation doesn't depend upon him getting it "right".

That isn't love. That laziness. That denying responsibility and charging God with necessity.

Calvinism does not posit nor propose "forced love". This is in the "top myths" or, shall we say, untruths...aw heck, LIES, told about Calvinism. You might want to stop putting it forward.

No. That is an accurate statement of fact. YOU may claim you're not, but we can read what you write and know that you're saying that God forced to love Him regardless of how you try to deflect to the contrary.

Have you ever heard of the "rape of the soul"? Who exactly said that?

Some Calvinists believe in "Stockholm Syndrome" for the Saints.

Exo 21:1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.
Exo 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
Exo 21:3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
Exo 21:4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
Exo 21:5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
Exo 21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

The Scriptures teach free will. It is clear from the teaching of the willing servant in Exodus 21. I believe the Scriptures. No "rape" involved.
 
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<insert rant>

Yeah...that's some heavy bias. /shrug

I've noted in that other forum that those who can't defend free will in the NT often run too the OT. This is a mistake as God does not change and the message throughout Scripture is the same. God is Sovereign in all things. Salvation is monergistic and no matter how much you want to place yourself above God it doesn't work that way. There's no point in denying it. You just can't live without something special about you. You've bought into the "fair" lie hook, line, and sinker.

News flash. God doesn't do "fair". Fair would be everyone burning in Hell. He is Just and Justifier on His terms. We don't need "fair" we need mercy.

Repent, friend.
 
News flash. God doesn't do "fair". Fair would be everyone burning in Hell. He is Just and Justifier on His terms. We don't need "fair" we need mercy.

You mean "justice" would be everyone in hell, not "fairness." Fairness implies a differently based system of justice.

This, however, has nothing to do with (true) free will if it's reason is not based on fairness.

And many of us do not defend (true) free will with the concept of human fairness.

So it's a non sequitur to somehow connect the two things.
 
Yeah...that's some heavy bias. /shrug

I've noted in that other forum that those who can't defend free will in the NT often run too the OT. This is a mistake as God does not change and the message throughout Scripture is the same. God is Sovereign in all things. Salvation is monergistic and no matter how much you want to place yourself above God it doesn't work that way. There's no point in denying it. You just can't live without something special about you. You've bought into the "fair" lie hook, line, and sinker.

News flash. God doesn't do "fair". Fair would be everyone burning in Hell. He is Just and Justifier on His terms. We don't need "fair" we need mercy.

Repent, friend.
So you want NT? Does God's word change? It has never changed. Never. It is part of His nature. Immutable. So you believe in Immutability?
 
Yeah...that's some heavy bias. /shrug

I've noted in that other forum that those who can't defend free will in the NT often run too the OT. This is a mistake as God does not change and the message throughout Scripture is the same. God is Sovereign in all things. Salvation is monergistic and no matter how much you want to place yourself above God it doesn't work that way. There's no point in denying it. You just can't live without something special about you. You've bought into the "fair" lie hook, line, and sinker.

News flash. God doesn't do "fair". Fair would be everyone burning in Hell. He is Just and Justifier on His terms. We don't need "fair" we need mercy.

Repent, friend.
BTW. Have you noticed that YOU are always the beneficiary of God's unfairness? It is of little consequence to claim justice for others while absolving yourself of judgement for the same actions.
 
Right about here. I could post multiple other men who loved God, loved the saints, and were Calvinists.


Those of you saying we, or the theology we ascribe too, are unloving need to repent.
OP doesn't say there is no love in Calvinism. It asks the question where is the love and Calvinism? Something along these lines.

"In the Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin there is not one time in this book does Calvin ever quote “God is love.” Hard to believe that in is massive book that is 1,521 pages long and that discusses thousands of biblical texts and discusses God’s nature extensively, Calvin never one time cited 1 John 4:8 or 1 John 4:16. Not even once! This is a stunning omission."
 
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