Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

Consider the following quote:

Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer, states: “There is no such thing as a person who doesn’t want to be saved and God saves him anyway because he is elect. Nor has any person ever existed who would like to be saved but cannot be because he is not elect. God works in the lives of those who are to be saved, convicting them of sin and giving them the faith to believe the gospel. He changes their disposition so they get saved because they want to.” (The Doctrines that Divide, p.191, emphasis mine)

In other words, mankind is so totally depraved that it in now way desires to be saved, and therefore the only people that truly want to be saved are those whom God elects and gives Irresistible Grace, and with it, the desire to want to be saved. Problem: The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not saved, and yet they definitely want to be saved, which is why they work so hard for it.

It is said that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not go door to door to save you, but to save themselves. For if they do not put in the required number of hours of field ministry work, then they are told that they will not be spared at Armageddon. On that account, I would like to know how Calvinists can claim that all of the unsaved lack a desire to want to be saved. I contend that it’s simply a matter of Calvinists trying to force reality to match their theology. The problem is not that they don’t want to be saved, but that their faith is misplaced. They do not trust in Christ, but in men, as do other religions. Even the apostle Paul had stated that the Jews have a “zeal for God,” but “not in accordance with knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

So if the theology of Calvinists is wrong, then the reality of Calvinists will subsequently be wrong, since they project their theology on to reality. The result will be that Calvinists will have a wrong perspective, and thus end up making the kind of statements made by Erwin Lutzer.

Here are two more examples of denying reality, on account of theological commitment:

One Calvinist confesses: “For a long time, I myself wouldn’t concede that God was the author of sin. In the end, however, I (and most of the other Calvinists I find who refrain from saying God is the author of sin) did so because it was simply uncomfortable for me, but that is philosophically dishonest. I think you must conclude that God is the author of sin if you say that God predestines and decrees all things.” (Why I think Calvinism dishonors God, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, Richard Mouw, writes: “There is no denying that a belief that we are predestined to eternal life can lead to a deterministic, even fatalistic, understanding of the Christian life. If it is God who does the choosing, then we may be tempted to think that our own choosing, our own responding to God, is a charade. It is all preprogrammed. But Calvinist theologians go out of their way to deny this implication.” (Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport, p.66, emphasis mine)

One Calvinist explains: “They all have to do with the eternal sovereign decree of God, which to a large part, is a mystery to us.”

However, Calvinists cannot claim a “mystery” defense, to support their doctrine. After all, if it is a mystery, meaning that it is hidden, then they cannot know for certain that it even exists, in order to support or refute their doctrine. As an example, I could easily claim that the hidden truth, the mystery of God, is that Calvin and all who follow his doctrine, are actually sons of Satan, and Calvinists could not, in any way, size, shape or form contradict it, other than to declare the fact that this mystery is a mystery means I cannot know it, thus cannot profess, confess and preach it!

Arminian Charge:  Calvinists deny Reality.

Myth or Reality:  The charge is essentially that Calvinists deny reality in order to make reality match their theology.
As an illustration with parody, we know that the existence of “Big Foot” proves that there is a transitional creature between man and ape. It is a “mystery” why we have not yet found these creatures, but they prove our case, nonetheless.

This is like what Calvinists are trying to pull off, in order to defend their claims as well.