Like the two towers of Mordor and Isengard, the philosophy gives the illusion of impenetrability. And it is from within these fortresses that the armies march…armies of Greek- influenced, pagan Gnosticism wearing a shield with a Christian symbol on it. These are the mobs of relentless, rigid determinism…bereft of any culpability for their pre-ordained and divinely foreknown actions, they march from the towers ready to shed the blood of those who both have no say in their total depravity, and yet are somehow completely culpable for it. They say they want you to join them; no…they demand it. And the sick irony is that even if you do—even if you accept Christ– there is still the SAME chance you might be cast into eternal damnation as before you ever capitulated. The only practical reason to join them is so that you can pay the salaries of Sauron and Saruman. Believe me, the leadership—many of them—understand this.
You see, no one can know if they are truly elect or not until they stand before God and He pronounces His arbitrary and subjective judgment upon them. If election is true, then it is, indeed, utterly and divinely subjective…God cannot have an objective, rational criteria of who gets saved and who does not if there is nothing that can be regarded in the human being him or herself whatsoever. All humans are EQUALLY wicked; thus, any selection of some by God over others must be categorically random.
In other words, and to put it bluntly, if you ask God why He made some men for heaven and some for hell, His only honest answer can be: “I don’t know”. Does that surprise you? Come across as somewhat insulting to His omnipotence…even blasphemous?
Sorry…perhaps, but the fact is that this IS the case if you hold to the doctrine of election. IF you say it is blasphemous to declare God cannot know why He predestines some over others, THEN I suggest you take the log out of your own eye.
God’s answer being “I don’t know” has nothing to do with blasphemy, but has everything to do with the fact that He can’t know. If He knew, then He would have to have a standard by which to select. If He has a standard, then men must be judged by it. Which means that some men must have the ability in themselves alone to either meet the standard or not. If God cannot help but meet the standard, by definition, and man cannot help but NOT meet the standard, then by definition there is no real standard at all.
Let me explain.
Some will argue that God has a standard for morality, for good versus evil, and that standard is Himself. In a bit I will explain why the idea of “God as the moral standard” cannot possibly be an argument for election, but first let’s just point out the obvious flaw in idea: If God is the standard, then what we are really saying is that there is simply God. God is the standard, the standard is God. Standard = God. So “standard” is redundant. There is only God, period. So, you have God on the one hand, and man on the other. Thus, all morality, and thus meaning, is simply this: God versus Not God .
Now, folks, that’s not really a standard. That is simply the nature of being. There can be no such thing as “God Himself is the standard by which NOT God is judged to be “good”. That makes no sense at all. Again, God being God and man being NOT God is merely the perfunctory, observable fact of being. For example, it is ridiculous to declare that the standard by which we judge red a proper color is by green. You have green, and you have red. The declaration of that obvious fact cannot be said to be a “standard of color TRUTH”, that is, “green is the standard by which all other colors are judged to be colors”; the NOT greens are not colors because they are, well…not green. This is the same as saying man cannot be morally good because He is not God.
No, they aren’t colors…they are totally depraved of color, and can never be color, because the only way another color can truly be a color is if it is green. Green has to elect red to greenness in order for it to be a “saved color”, because, by definition, red cannot ever make itself green. So then, if green is the standard of color, and only green is a color, then the only way other colors can be a real color is to become green. And the only way that can possibly happen is if green decides to impart its greenness to another color.
But how does green decide which color to “save”? NONE of the other colors are green and so none of them possess ANYTHING by which green can make a choice that is not utterly arbitrary, subjective, irrational, random because greenness alone is the standard, remember? In addition, if every other color but green is ultimately irrelevant, and only green, itself is relevant, and perfect, and possess the innate ability to be “saved”, then why would green bother creating any other colors? To even contemplate other colors would be impossible for “perfect” green. Green, being perfect already, should haven no relevant reason to contemplate making another green.
But if green would like to create red, it can only do that IF it is understood that red is never going to be defined by green, and that is the point of creating red. Red is created to be red. Period. Red is a color like green is a color. Green defines what color is, and then creates red to be another color. Green is color, and color is good. Green creates red, and red, because it is a color, is fundamentally good. The right way and wrong way to apply red’s “color” (i.e. truth) to life is what defines the moral code. Green always applies itself properly. Red may not…red may try act blue. Blue is bad, says green. In order to stay true to why I created you, you must avoid the temptation to be blue. Green is never blue, because it is impossible that green, being the standard of TRUTH can ever be or do what it is not. It is the I AM of colors. But red may be tempted to be blue, and that is bad. Thus, the moral standard is “stay away from blue”. In this case, blue is the objective standard by which both green and red measure morality.
What we are saying if we declare that God IS the moral standard, and it is by the moral standard that anyone is saved, and only God can be God, then it is impossible that one can choose Christ. Because a decision to choose Christ is based on the free recognition of Him being GOOD contrasted with the EVIL we see and likewise recognize in the world. And if we recognize Good and Evil, we concede that there is in fact an objective standard by which God AND man are both defined. This objective standard may be a function of man’s Creation, and may indeed be declared and created by God, but the point is that if man can choose Christ He must do it by an external moral standard of GOOD and EVIL that He can freely recognize, and that must be relevant and observable within his existential reality.
And the standard of GOOD cannot be simply God, because if that is the sole moral standard, then man cannot choose God because HE can never, ever do anything that can be considered GOOD simply because He is NOT God. In other words, morality is not about what man is or is not able to do–whether you ascribe to “inability to do good” (Calvinism) or “ability to do good” “Arminianism”–but about who man is. Since the choice between accepting Christ or not accepting Him is purely a function of man‘s existence, or rather, with respect to WHO man IS, the choice itself, regardless of who ultimately makes it, God or man, is evil. The choice is a function of MAN’S existence, not God’s, and thus the choice is inherently evil. Even if God makes it FOR man (elects him), because it is made on behalf of MAN. And man, not being God, is wholly EVIL, and thus all that is ascribed solely to be a function of him, for him, like salvation, must also be evil. Salvation is for man, and man is categorically and irrevocably, inherently, originally, pervasively evil. The logical conclusion of this doctrine is that salvation itself must be a function of evil. Even if it is from God, it is strictly for the perpetuation of the evil created thing. The only way for election to not be evil then, is if man is removed of the equation. Thus, we are back to election being God saving Himself. This is a metaphysical impossibility.
Even simpler: election is a created thing. Since it is not God, it is evil. Period. Because ONLY God is GOOD.
In addition, man would never choose Christ because it would be impossible for him to see why he would need God, because there is nothing objectively recognized by which God is declared GOOD and you are declared EVIL. By what standard can you judge God GOOD? You cannot. God says to you, “You must be good to be saved.” And you say, “Okay, what is good?” And He says. Good IS Me. Which means: You must be God to be saved. And you say, “Okay. Why?” And He says, “Because only God can be saved.”
Now…how on earth is that not contradiction?
To say that you need Christ for salvation from sin supposes you can actually do wrong. But if the standard is merely God/NOT God, then morality is a state of being; there is nothing inherently “wrong” about doing or thinking or acting this way or that way. A man hugging his wife is just as evil as a man murdering babies with a machine gun. God being a liar or a hypocrite is just as good as God giving the Israelites manna from heaven. Even worse than this is this fact: If man’s moral failing is simply that he isn’t God, then God must be the Creator of evil.
The neo-Reformed declare that God Himself is the moral standard. But God doesn’t need salvation, so what is the point of man? Nothing. He is redundant. He is pointless. If in order for red to be a true color it must become green, then there was never any point to red in the first place. It’s very existence is an act of pure hypocrisy and irrelevance.
True “morality” as in what constitutes a “color” explicitly demands a standard beyond “green”…beyond “God” which can be pointed to as the objective plumb which divides them. In this case, the standard is objective morality: good and evil; right and wrong; wisdom and foolishness. As a Christian, I’m not saying that obeying this objective moral standard is ultimately what saves you (true salvation means that what defines you is YOU, like what defines God ultimately is GOD; man defines himself, and that is GOOD, just like God defines Himself and that is GOOD…this is what Christ does for us; and that’s why the moral law is no longer used to judge man). However, what I am saying is that an objective standard of morality, separate from the innate being of God or man does in fact exist, and it is by this that a person can freely choose to do RIGHT and to do WRONG, and that a function of that choice is to accept or reject Christ, freely, and that just judgment can be rendered by God thus because there is an objective standard by which man can freely, knowingly CHOOSE Christ because He is GOOD.
It is this standard that Calvinists deny. And by denying it, they deny morality. They are, by definition, morally relative.
What I mean by their moral relativism is simply a reworking of what I’ve already explained. If God has a standard that no man can meet, by design, then the standard is irrelevant. Which means that God’s design of man is not only arbitrary but it is also pointless. The only way there can be a reason is if there is something of one man that sets him apart from another. But according to the doctrine of “original sin” this is impossible. Since judgment is purely a function of morality, and all humans are equally morally depraved, then nothing can set one man apart from another. But if all men are created equally depraved, then God’s criteria can be effectively nothing. Because man was not created with ANY standard in mind except: Man is not God.
But all have to choose Christ, right? Even the elect people.
NO! I have said this before and I will say it again. The Cross does not make the doctrine of election possible; the doctrine of election makes the cross pointless. Since there is no true and objective standard of morality then there is no real choice because choice presupposes that there is a difference between one “road” or the other (to borrow from Robert Frost). But with no morality standard to define man’s existence then whether one chooses Christ or does not choose Christ makes no difference whatsoever. Christ Himself becomes utterly irrelevant in the equation, meaning, whether you have Christ or do not have Christ, “choose” Him or do not “choose” Him, He has functionally nothing to do with your salvation. The entire New Testament (and Old, for that matter) is completely irrelevant to human beings . If there is no standard there can be no choice because there is nothing really GOOD or EVIL, which means Christ, again, is useless. The Fall isn’t evil, because there is no such thing. There is only NOT God. The Fall is evil why? Because they lied. But why is lying wrong? Because it is NOT God, or because it violates a standard of trust, and trust is thus based on an objective idea of right and wrong. Of course, the latter.
If God makes the choice for man because man is NOT God, and if the whole criteria for whether one is morally worthy to be “elect” or “not elect” is whether someone is God or is not God, then there is no real choice for God to make, either. How can God choose between Himself and not Himself as the functional criteria for the choice of who is elect and who is not?
He has cornered Himself into an unworkable position, which ultimately makes Him a hypocrite as soon as He makes a “choice”. His choice is either Himself or not Himself, meaning, He must decide to whom of this collection of “not Gods” does He impute Himself, which means possess…because YOU cannot be saved; only God can be saved because God is the plumb line for GOOD, remember? But then what God is saying is that in order for man to be saved he must be God. Once you become God to be saved, God is merely saving Himself. You are destroyed, in favor of God, so that God can be saved.
What a minute. What?
God does not need saving because He is God, by definition. So who is Christ dying for? Christ is dying for God, which makes God a hypocrite because the Christ cannot die for the sins of the same person to who is the plumb line for the moral TRUTH in the first place.
So, in summary, the whole point of Calvinist theology is that there IS no criteria for salvation, and that gives ecclesiastical authority the right to do anything to you and demand anything from you without the slightest risk of ever having to answer for their tyranny. THEY are God, and YOU are not, is the point of this. Anything they do is GOOD simply because they are the ones doing it. And the reverse is true for you.
Thus, the only good you can do is deny yourself and submit to them. This is the heart of the gnostic apostasy, which is why it was so vehemently denounced by many early Christians and Christian scholars (to little avail, apparently). Your Calvinist Pastors-in-the-stead have been given God’s essence, for some gnostic, unknowable, irrational, arbitrary reason, for the sole functional purpose of ruling you. As far as you are concerned, they are God incarnate. The authority they have to “teach and preach” is the same authority to declare TRUTH as God Himself. They would even describe their sermons as the very Word of God. I have heard this with my own ears. I am not surprised, though. It is consistent with their heresy. A logical conclusion
And so, I submit that ultimately “election” is simply propaganda which the Calvinist leadership uses to deceive you into giving them your unwavering devotion and the divine right to all you possess without them actually having to work for it. They really don’t want to have to use the force they have been divinely permitted. Building the bonfires and unwinding the rope is so much administrative work, you know…it’s much easier if you just give it over without all the fuss. And pastors are all about ease. It’s a nice gig, I’m sure, being God.
So, if they can get you to believe that you are “special”, that is “elect”, or saved, well, then they can pretend that they are somehow “covering you”, or “shepherding” you…or doing something to earn their salary and your life and property…well, that’s called “preaching and teaching”. But, in reality, it makes no difference to them whether you are saved or not, or what you think of Christ or whether you think of Him at all. For all people, saved or not, merely exist to satisfy the neo-Calvinist pastor’s divine right to a happy and comfortable life. To be honest, they really don’t know if you are saved or not, and again, they don’t particularly care. They care about preaching and teaching. What happens after that, shrug…not their prob. Let God sort it out.
Salvation is really irrelevant anyway; Christ is meaningless, which is why they aren’t usually big on evangelism in these neo-Cal churches. They know this, incidentally. They understand that telling people about Christ is perfunctory at best, and since it is hard to do anything perfunctory with “joy”, per John Piper (if it isn’t joyful, it’s sin), then they don’t really bother with it. The wouldn’t want to sin by having to evangelize without being really spiritually committed to it (as if sin has anything to do with anything). So…as long as you let them rule you have fulfilled you obligation for living. Thus, you Calvinist, IF you are saved, well then…you can be sure that it has very little to do with your Pastor in the stead knowing or caring about it. By definition, a Calvinist pastor can only exist to serve himself. To serve God means to serve he who truly possesses the divine gnosis, and of course they are the only ones who have that. For all others, well…it’s really a toss-up. God will sort them out at the day of judgment.
The sole reason for “shepherding” is utterly nothing. Shepherding the masses who are elect or un-elect is pointless. Incidentally, this is realized, I submit, within three minutes of a neo-Calvinist pastor beginning his tenure at a church. So then, how do they defend drawing a salary? Of what relevance are they at all? They can’t really defend or define their jobs and purpose rationally, on any doctrinal level (indeed, the very doctrine they preach screams that they are superfluous). And so they spend all their time trying to figure out how to look just relevant enough that no one raises an eyebrow. Keep ‘em at the Cross. Keep their heads down in shame. Keep ‘em guessing as to whether they really know Christ. What are your motives, depraved sinner? Just think about that, and the log in your own eye.
It’s hard to ask questions when you are “contemplating the gospel” all the fricken time.
You are either elect or not. And, as I described above, if that is the case, then ultimately Christ has nothing to do with salvation or you or God because He is irrelevant. A cosmic act of divine nonsense. Of torment and brutality for ostentatious display only. If the criteria for salvation is to be God, and the sum of your immorality is that you exist at all, and all men are not God, then God must become an elect man before that man is saved. If that is true, then Christ is…well, nothing.