Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

Billy Graham writes: “God created man in His own image and gave him an abundant life. He did not make him as a robot to automatically love and obey Him, but gave him a will and freedom of choice. Man chose to disobey God and go his own willful way. Man still makes this choice today. This results in separation from God.” (The Enduring Classics of Billy Graham: The Secret of Happiness, Happiness Through Peacemaking, pp.125-126, emphasis mine)

Hal Lindsey states: “So God did this because He did not want to create robots. You see, He wanted a creature that could respond to Him. But, most of all, He wanted a creature that could respond to His love. Now, there cannot be love without freedom of choice. Unless you can choose not to love, you can’t love.” (Gospel of John, emphasis mine)

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians states: “God, for some reason or another, seems just as concerned about how one comes to salvation than whether one comes to salvation. After all, salvation means to be rescued. God could rescue us without our consent: without our faith. For some reason He declared that we shall be saved by faith, and whatever made Him put the condition on salvation also causes Him to make revelation conditional as well.” (SEA, emphasis mine)

Robots don’t have Free Will.  If I was to program a robot, then whatever the robot does, would be an extension of myself, as its exclusive programmer. Now regarding humanity, if there is no Free Will, then where does our Will come from? If it comes exclusively from Determinism (by divine decree, in which everything is fixed, set and scripted), then whatever humanity does, would similarly be an extension of the One programming the unchangeable decree. God is good, but Calvinism otherwise makes God complicit in an allegedly decreed Fall of man.

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians states: “I would say that it is perfectly acceptable and quite advisable for Arminians to point out that Calvinist theology entails that we are robots, and even that it logically demands it, though critically, Calvinists don’t hold that we are robots. It is just what their theology logically demands. It is a criticism of their theology, not a description of what it actually teaches, and we should trumpet this criticism because it is true and devastating, and it resonates with many people. Many, possibly most, people have an immediate response to hearing Calvinist theology for the first time by crying out, ‘That makes us robots!’ Amen.(SEA)

Regarding this meme, refer to the following YouTube clip, which discusses this very issue. The issue is this: If God, as described by Calvinism, makes certain people regenerated, against their depraved will, as being made willing,” as per the Westminster Confession of Faith, so that they will make a positive response to the gospel, is that truly a free action? As an illustration, consider the following meme:

I would venture to say that only a fully indoctrinated Calvinist would still maintain, that in both instances, they were free actions.

Arminian Charge:  Calvinism makes man into Robots.

Myth or Reality:  This is a frequent charge against exhaustive Determinism, and the logic is inescapable.