The God of Calvinism: Calvinism’s “god”: All Loving or a Misanthrope?

by Califgracer

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.

25 responses to “The God of Calvinism: Calvinism’s “god”: All Loving or a Misanthrope?

  1. I have just posted a “sister” article to this current discussion entitled,

    “Calvinism’s ‘god’ of limited sovereignty”

  2. Marcella, it sounds like an “LS highlight reel”.

  3. Jan, I’ve got some Alleve in my purse. I’ll wire it over to you!

    I thought an election was when we voted on who would become the next President. Who are the Calvinists voting for in their election?

    How about this headline for your next post, Bruce:
    Calvinism: A Confusing Concept Leading to Elected Uncertainty

    OK, so that was lame. I used to write for a newspaper and had to come up with headlines. Guess I didn’t have a very creative imagination. (sigh)

    I was watching a preacher on TV today. Someone at his church sang, “O Victory in Jesus,” as a solo. The preacher sends out Billy Graham packets, the same packets Graham sends out from his crusades. At the close of his sermon, the preacher said, “If you have not asked Jesus into your heart…,” then he prayed the sinners’ prayer. The preacher said we need to turn from our sins… Hmmmm…I spied another LS preacher!

  4. Y’all are formulating a pretty good idea for another post:

    Calvinism: A Completely Illogical Theological Construct!

  5. Sooooo..

    Then to be a Calvinist one must CHOOSE to believe in Calvinism — but by their rules they are NOT able to Choose to believe in Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus eternally, by my choice to believe in Jesus Christ alone as my Savior, Jack — (I’m not a Calvinist) 😎

  6. Jan, in other words, this teaching would be equivalent to saying that the only way that one could be saved is by believing that he could not believe.

    I have a headache. 😦


  7. Jan,

    What a great series of thoughts!!

    I have challenged Calvinists about your statement, “proven election” for years. They cannot prove their “election” for salvation by Scripture.


    Great analysis — and what a predicament for a Reformed teacher.. “the only way that one could be saved is by believing that he could not believe.” Ha! If their error was not so serious it would be funny.

    Even after exposing Calvinism for over 40 years I am still amazed that intelligent folks choose to “believe” the lie of Calvinism and now LS..


    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  8. Jan, in other words, this teaching would be equivalent to saying that the only way that one could be saved is by believing that he could not believe.

    To say that faith is a work is based on the incorrect interpretation of Ephesians 2:8. But “faith” is not the gift of God. Eternal life is the gift of God.

  9. Thanks for that sermon, pastor Tom! It was very good. I did not know that about Boice. Pray that I die in faith? Honestly, they sound just like Catholics. It’s like all they did was rearrange the furniture in the room. This is the terrible outcome of this theology, when they hold to it consistently. What they actually believe is that they must be elect to be saved. They certainly believe that salvation is through Christ alone, but now they can only access that work indirectly, through proven election. If I can see by my life that I am elect, then I can know that Jesus died for me and I am truly saved. But the gospel demands that we believe directly on the Lord Jesus Christ, not that we figure out whether or not we are one of the elect. They put election between their need and God’s supply, making faith in Christ’s cross work indirect.

    That theological freak show Harold Camping had an article on salvation that said pretty much the same thing. He said that believing Jesus died for you is like the man who went out and gathered sticks on the Sabbath. He did work on the Sabbath and that got him stoned. Camping said that faith is a work and therefore could not be added to the cross. So the best you could do is follow God’s law as best you might and tell Him you hope He has chosen you. Unbelievable. (No pun intended. :()


  10. I thought so, Bruce. Thanks for the confirmation. It was a good one, and I’m looking forward to hearing the entire series.

    That Dial soap commercial? Man, you guys are old!! 😉

  11. Hi Pearl,

    Yes, the excellent sermon to which I recommended was given by Dr. Tom Cucuzza on 9/25/11; it was entitled, “Exposing Calvinism for What It Is.” Go to Northland Bible Baptist website and click on Voice of Assurance:

    Tom also has some other excellent sermons in the same series.

  12. I remember it,

  13. Jan,

    Sorta like the old Dial deodorant soap commercials..
    “I use Dial soap, don’t you wish everyone would”?

    “I have Jesus alone as my Savior, don’t you wish everyone would”?

    But I date myself – I am sure none of you remember that ad.. and pray that tad of levity does not offend.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  14. Don’t you pray everyone could know that freedom?

    I sure do!


  15. Yes, Jack I am!
    And yes this is on my mind continually – Lord give me the boldness to speak your name.

  16. Thanks Faith,

    Doing well here. Aren’t you happy to be free at last? Don’t you pray everyone could know that freedom?

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  17. Excellent analogy and one (along with other Calvinist fallacies) that caused me to ski-daddle right on out of the Calvinist church!!

    Hope you guys are doing well today!

  18. Tom,

    If Bruce doesn’t get back to you right away, it is because he will be away from his computer for a while.

    Wish I had had that illustration when I was preaching — and contending with my Calvinist friends and relatives.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  19. Friends,

    This is a great post! It is a great illustration!

    Pearl, I don’t know if the message you are referring to is mine, but I did do a series recently on this issues of Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Truth. It covered several weeks. The first message is called ‘Chosen in Him. What Does it Mean?”. Free to hear or download on our website. BTW, may I use these illustrations for future preaching?


  20. Pearl,

    You are right. a baffling conundrum is twice as baffling as a plain old conundrum. Spinach thereby removed.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  21. Bruce,

    Those perfect illustrations really condemn the elitism and “choose-ism” of the Calvinists. They don’t have a leg to stand on.

    And then John, your LS illustration addition is perfect.

    As many of you know, all of my life, I have been around Calvinist friends and some in my family. They are blinded and will not see. These illustrations may help me re-enter the conversation again with them. And a couple of them may just “spontaneously combust.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  22. …baffling conundrum…

    I wish we could edit our mistakes after publishing…my redundancy might as well be spinach caught between the front teeth!! 🙄

  23. Another baffling conundrum, John. Great addition.

  24. Great analogy. Why this belief is so attractive to so many is truly confounding.

    A few weeks back, Bruce mentioned a sermon over at a church’s website (was it Tom Cucuzza’s church?…I can’t recall this moment), the topic being the fallacies of Calvinism. I thought it interesting how they have to deliberately take verses like “God so loved the whole world…” or “Whosoever will may come…” or “…that all men should be saved…” and perform egregious interpretation acrobatics, all to justify their cruel doctrine. I honestly don’t see what they find so valuable, so beautiful, that they contend so fiercely.

  25. Great question. I have a companion question: what if all of the children accepted the blanket invitation, but there was a caveat that those who had truly escaped would behave themselves, and those who has not truly escaped would not behave themselves, but instead would spontaneously combust (this gets to the Perserverance petal of the TULIP)?