I'm putting this out there. I am quick to admit I don't understand predestination.
Predestination is a mystery to me.
How can God know the future, and be in control of everything - yet love all of His creation and allow us to have free will.
The way I see it, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists have points where they must admit they don't understand something.
I think Calvinist see other points further down their logic path that become their mysteries.
Calvinist don't have a problem with predestination.
They remove free will from the equation.
They conclude that God is in 100% control of everyone's desires, choices and actions.
They conclude that God has chosen them and they have nothing to do with it, it's all for God's glory.
They conclude that Jesus only died for the elect.
Some conclude that God hates sinners.
For them the mysteries come at some different points in their responses to questions like these:
- What criteria would God have to predestine some people to a future in heaven, and some to a future in Hell?
- Why does God predestine billions of people to Hell? Why bother creating them if he knows where he is sending them?
- If God hates sinners should we?
- Can't sinners choose to do good, and can't they choose to follow God.
- Doesn't 2 Peter 3:9 and Acts 17:30 sound like God wants everyone to be saved, not just the elect?
- Doesn't 1 John 2:2 sound like unlimited atonement?
- Doesn't Matt 23:37 sound like some resisted God's irresistible grace?
- Doesn't Matt 6:33 sound like people have the choice to seek God's kingdom?
From my experience, at some point in these conversation you will likely get the response that it is a mystery. We shouldn't expect to fully understand the ways of God.
If we all have points in our logic where we fall back and admit it's a mystery of God...
I think I'd rather pick a point earlier in the logic process before defending some of these other positions.
What's it called when you say something about someone that is false and makes them out to look like a monster?
I think Calvinists are running on dangerous ground, falsely accusing God of hating sinners.
I wouldn't want to go there.
If I'm wrong. I believe I'll be slightly disappointed when I get to heaven and discover I was actually a robot or puppet. I can live with this.
If they are wrong, I suspect they will regret spreading the message that God hates sinners.
So I am OK publicly stating I don't understand predestination.