Tuesday, September 16

Day 3: What Are The Denials of Unconditional Election?

Hiya! These are a couple of pics of our Kids Lester & Priscilla in Tae Kwon Do/Karate Class. Boy they getting big fast! Anyways, back to our scehduled programing! Make sure you check the video at the end of this post, its Classic! Thanks to "Downtown" Leon Brown for this Vid!

Yesterday, we looked at the meaning of Unconditional Election, and today we are going to look at the arguments and denials of this TRUTH!

What Are The Denials Of This Truth?

It is not at all strange that this truth of predestination is denied almost universally. The sad part of it is that it is denied also by those who sail under the Reformed flag and claim to be Calvinists. This is deceit.

There are many ways in which this truth is denied.

We have already discussed the denial of Arminianism. Today it is evident that those who adopt the position of Arminians do not speak of predestination at all any more. It is lost. Principally Arminianism has no room for predestination.

There are others who deny this truth simply by being quiet about it. This is perhaps more common than any other form of denial within Reformed circles. They say they believe it. But they very pointedly omit it from all their preaching and teaching and writing. The idea is, of course, to kill it with silence. That, too, is a denial of predestination. The justification for this silence is supposed to be that predestination belongs to the hidden things of God. It is claimed that predestination belongs to those hidden things of God while we have to do only with that which is revealed to us and to our children. Therefore, while these who make this claim, insist that they believe this doctrine of predestination, they are silent about it because they claim that by speaking of it they pry into secret things which are not their concern. But all this is simply not true. While indeed God has not revealed specifically who each one of His elect are, nevertheless the truth of election itself is found on every page of Scripture. Turn where you will and, if it is not explicitly stated, it is nevertheless presupposed. And because this truth is revealed so clearly, it must also be the confession of the people of God.

There are others who deny election forthrightly. This is not only true among the modernists; this is true also in Reformed circles. The following quote is taken from The Reformed Journal, the issue of January, 1967 as an example of this.

What about God's reprobation or rejection? Does not election logically imply rejection? . . . Does not election really mean selection? . . . Israel's election, though sometimes misunderstood by the people themselves, ultimately meant their being called for service to the other nations. Therefore it was not a case of the other nations being forever excluded, but of God's electing Israel on his way to the others. Election in the biblical sense does imply service, but apparently It does not imply rejection . . . .

There are two main points which the author is making here. In the first place, the author is saying that election is not that God eternally, unchangeably determined in Christ who would be His people destined to live with Him forever in heaven. But rather election means only that God took the nation of Israel as a nation and set it aside so that it could be responsible for bringing the gospel to the whole world. This is all election means according to this article.

In the second place, because the nation of Israel is chosen to be the vehicle by which God brings the gospel to the whole world, there is no such thing as reprobation or rejection, for the whole world is elect in Israel. And in this way the author supports what he considers to be the truth of universal atonement and the universal love of God.

This is a forthright denial of the truth of election and reprobation. It remains a mystery how this can appear under the name of "Reformed".

There are others who deny the truth of predestination by raising objections against the doctrine. These objections are as old as the doctrine is. The same objections we hear today were raised already in the days of Augustine - indeed, in the days of the apostle Paul. If we examine these objections they come down to two main ones.

In the first place there is a class of objections against this doctrine which contains charges against God Himself. The objection is raised that predestination makes God a tyrant, the author of sin, a capricious dictator who arbitrarily chooses some and rejects others. They are similar to the objections which Paul considered in Romans 9:14, 19:

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?

Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

They are objections lodged against God and His justice.

The other class of objections all come down to the one charge of fatalism. It is said that the truth of predestination is fatalistic and that it is similar to the horrible doctrine of the Mohammedans. These objections mean to say that the truth of predestination makes of men careless and profane sinners. The doctrine arouses in men the statement: "Let us sin that grace may abound." The doctrine forces men to say: "If I'm an elect, I am going to heaven no matter what I do - even though I sin greatly. So I shall have a good time in this life, for my sin cannot alter my election. And, on the other hand, if I am not an elect, I will not go to heaven no matter how good a life I live. Hence I shall surely go to hell if I am reprobate even though I live holy. So I might just as well enjoy life, sin as much as possible. Nothing can alter God's eternal determination." So, it is said, the doctrine of predestination destroys man's responsibility and accountability, and makes of him a stock and a block.

All these objections are very old.

What shall we answer?

In the first place, in general, there are times when these questions are raised by sincere people of God. They are not raised in order to make mockery of the truth; but rather because the people of God want to understand the truth as clearly as they are able. And then these questions are perfectly legitimate.

But most of the time these objections are made by evil men who hate this truth. They are raised to slander the truth, to make the doctrine odious in the minds of men, to try to persuade men to discard the doctrine. Almost always these are objections which arise from evil hearts and not from the humble questionings of the people of God.

It is well to remember this, because if evil is the motive, nothing Scripture says will alter these objections in any way.

In the second place, we must be prepared to admit that this truth is very profound. There are indeed questions which will arise in our minds which we shall be unable to answer. Calvin, for example, reminds us again and again that we must limit ourselves to what Scripture says and not permit ourselves to wander beyond the paths in which Scripture leads us. Where Scripture tells us to stop, there we must stop. And, if at that stopping point, there are still questions that are unanswered, so be it; we bow in humility before the truth of the Word of God. However, this truth is sometimes used to deny the truth of predestination in a very subtle way and to block the investigation of this truth altogether. And so it must be emphasized that although we may not go into paths where Scripture does not lead us, we must follow where Scripture takes us by the hand and shows us the glory of this work of God. When Scripture puts this confession on our lips, this confession must be ours.

In the third place, with respect to the first class of objections (charging God with capriciousness and making Him the author of sin) we can do no better than quote the answer of Paul to similar objections:

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I mighty shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? (Romans 9:14-21)

That is the answer of Scripture; that must be our answer too.

Finally, with respect to charges of fatalism, every child of God knows in his heart that they are not true. The history of the Reformed Churches is abundant testimony that it is not true. Is not this history written in the blood of martyrs who loved not their lives unto death because they believed and confessed the truth of eternal election? Is there not a long gallery of heroes of faith who loved this truth and confessed it and whose lives are a testimony of the power of God's grace in their hearts?

There is reason for this. For the truth of election not only means that God chooses those who are to be His people; and it not only means that God determines that they shall live in heaven; but it means also that God guarantees a walk of holiness for His people in the midst of the world. The decree of election is the foundation of all the blessings of salvation. Election was realized on Calvary. And on Calvary all of salvation was accomplished. That same salvation is applied to the hearts of God's elect people by sovereign grace. This is the point our Canons make again and again.

There are not various decrees of election, but one and the same decree respecting all those, who shall be saved, both under the Old and New Testament: since the scripture declares the good pleasure, purpose and counsel of the divine will to be one, according to which he hath chosen us from eternity, both to grace and glory, to salvation and the way of salvation, which he hath ordained that we should walk therein. (1, 8; italics added.) Cf. also 1. 6, 9, quoted above.

Election is the fountain of an innumerable host of blessings which flow to God's people. By the power of this election they walk as God's people in the midst of the world. Careless and profane Christians? No. Elect, redeemed in the blood of the cross and sanctified by the power of sovereign grace.


Tomorrow we will be looking at The importance of Unconditional Election for the Church!

Here's the Video, This is CLASSIC!!! LOL!


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