Calvinism and Arminianism: 
Myths & Realities

How can they be blamed? How can they be held responsible for failing to raise themselves to life? That’s the consequence of making salvation impossible, apart from God giving an Irresistible Grace. Should a legless man feel guilty because he cannot walk? Should a deaf man be ashamed for not being able to hear? Jesus said no. John 9:39-41 states: “And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.’ Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, ‘We are not blind too, are we?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, “We see,” your sin remains.’” But if they could walk, and could see, and could hear, and God absolutely was involved in enabling them, but they refused, then you would now be introducing a concept of God’s grace being spurned, and which immediately gives rise to what is called “human accountability.” There is otherwise simply no room for it in Calvinist ideology. An example of some who could walk, could talk, could see and could hear, and who had refused God’s grace, are shown to have had those abilities stripped away, in the form of Judgment, which is evident at God’s indignation, shown at Isaiah 6:9-10: “He said, ‘Go, and tell this people: “Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand. Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.”’” If they otherwise, never had any opportunity, and never had God’s grace helping them, then what is the explanation for John 10:37-38: “‘If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.’” Jesus is encouraging unbelievers to consider the miracles, so that they could believe. Now how would that work with an Irresistible Grace? How does Irresistible Grace work in that type of situation? For them, it’s not a matter of what God is denying them, in the form of a special grace, but with what God is involved in helping them, by the evidence presented.

The following humor demonstrates the points:

Arminian, Jerry Walls explains on a Facebook status update during Halloween: “I’m running low on candy. ‘bout to get all Calvinist up in here. Arbitrarily pick and choose which kids get the candy and which don’t. Then I’ll blame the kids with less candy for not getting a good haul.” 

One Arminian responded: “It’s not really Calvinist unless you have enough candy for everyone but deny candy to certain kids purely for your own good pleasure.”

Arminian Charge:  Calvinism denies human Accountability.

Myth or Reality:  If salvation is all 100% God, as the result of a monergistic, unilateral, Irresistible Grace, by taking people who are stone-cold dead, for whom it is otherwise impossible to raise themselves, then what do we say of those who are denied this same grace? In order words, when Calvinists place so much emphasis in saying that people are Totally Depraved (with Total Inability), in the sense of being spiritually dead, and cannot raise themselves, then how can you blame, shame or fault those who are denied this alleged grace, for failing to do the impossible in raising themselves to spiritual life? It would almost seem that those with a Total Inability (who at least show hints of godliness), have climbed a Mount Everest of Total Depravity, and should be congratulated for whatever progress they were able to make against the onslaught of Total Depravity. For those with Total Depravity, doing anything positive would be a remarkable achievement. But instead, Calvinists mock such alleged non-elect people as being self-converts.” But why [hypothetically] blame them, if they have no one to help them, and no Holy Spirit to give them a conscience to see their wrongs in order to turn from them, and no Savior’s atoning grace who died for them? But that’s not how the lost should be viewed at all. Instead, they do deserve blame because God was indeed helping them, and they spurned Him. As an example, God states at Isaiah 65:2: “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts.” That’s the difference. Grace was spurned, and hence accountability.