Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

John MacArthur emphatically declares: “We are chosen unto salvation. We are chosen to belong to Him. When you look at your salvation, then thank God. Thank God! Because you are a Christian because He chose you. I don’t understand the mystery of that. That’s just what the word of God teaches. That is the most humbling doctrine in all of Scripture. I take no credit, not even credit for my faith. It all came from Him. He chose me. He selected people to be made holy in order to be with Him forever. Why he selected me, I will never know. I’m no better than anyone else. I’m worse than many. But He chose me.”  (Understanding Election, emphasis mine)

MacArthur asks:To whom do you owe your salvation? You owe it to the God who chose you. You owe it to the God who predestined you. You owe it to the God who redeemed you, the God who forgave you, the God who wanted you to be His own because He wanted you to be His own. It doesn’t give any other reason, even though we are so unworthy, so unworthy.” (Understanding Election, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, Joseph R. Nall, states: “Reprobation is indeed a very sad truth. But how much more reason to be thankful that I am saved.” (What is Reprobation?)

Translation: Too bad for all you poor slobs out there but I AM IN!!

In order to mitigate the guilt, pious arguments are invented, such as: “I had no hand in my salvation. If it was up to me, I would never have chosen God, so He chose Himself for me.” Other pious arguments include: “Your theology is man-centered. Only my theology is truly God-centered.” This way, a Calvinist does not need to feel a sense of Survivors Guilt, as they are just letting God be God, but are they really letting God be God? What if God should want free-will? What if God should want a Gospel invitation? What if God should desire that people freely reject or freely love Him? What if God should desire to condescend to mankind in such a manner? Are Calvinists really letting God be God? Or are Calvinists using clever arguments to conceal a guilty conscience?

Arminian Charge:  Calvinism is a Guilty Pleasure.

Myth or Reality:  For a Calvinist, there is almost a sense of Survivors Guilt. They were picked, and others were not. Others must be created to perish in order to display the divine attribute of wrath, without which, there is no basis to contrast all of the good attributes.