By Bruce Bauer
One of the top ten excuses that I have heard from individuals who reject Christianity and the God of the Bible goes as follows:
“I just can’t understand how a loving God could send people by the millions or billions to a place of torment called ‘hell’.”
How would you answer that question? Listen to the following story of how a Calvinist might respond (the following is a brief excerpt from the book “Inside the Tulip Controversy,” by Kent Kelly, 1986, p. 10): [this brief citation is not intended to be a blanket endorsement of the entire book]:
“A Calvinist once said to a preacher—‘I would like to explain why I believe as I do. Suppose a man went to an orphanage. He had predetermined by his grace that he would adopt a certain boy and a certain girl and take them into his family. Could anyone reasonably accuse the man of being unjust or unfair because he chose these two and left the others’?”
“The preacher replied to the Calvinist—‘Certainly not! As you have explained the situation I would find no problem of any kind with the man’s purpose and his choice.’ Then the preacher said—‘But suppose the man went to the orphanage and sent word to all the children saying, ‘WHOSOEVER WILL may come!’ and then refused to take any but the two he had originally intended to take. With that I have a problem which Calvinism cannot resolve’.” (from Harold Mackay)
Now, allow me to intensify Kelly’s story in order to truly view the darker side of Calvinism:
Suppose that the same man came to the orphanage and warned the children and staff that in one hour the orphanage will burn down and that anyone remaining in the building will become burned alive in the fire; again, he makes the initial offer that anyone who will come with him may come and will be rescued. Then, having given the warning and announced the promised blanket invitation, he then proceeds to choose only two of the children to adopt, to take with him and thereby to rescue them from the fire. The rest would all be left behind to suffer.
THAT is the dark side of Calvinism!
Your comments and Scripture citations are welcome.