Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities






















One of prominent teachings of Calvinism is The Wrath of God.

John Calvin comments: “...God hates sin, we are also hated by Him in so far as we are sinners. But in so far as He receives us into the body of Christ by His secret counsel, He ceases to hate us. Our return to grace, however, is unknown to us, until we attain in by faith.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.110, emphasis mine)

Calvin continues: Again, we do not sufficiently understand the benefit conferred on us by the death of Christ, unless this is the beginning of our reconciliation to God, so that we are convinced that it is by the expiation that has been made that God, who before was justly hostile to us, is now propitious to us. Thus, since our reception into favor is ascribed to the death of Christ, the meaning is that the guilt, for which we were otherwise punishable, has been taken away.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.110, emphasis mine)

Calvin explains: “…God, apart from Christ, is always angry with us, and that we are reconciled to Him when we are accepted by His righteousness.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.76, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “As long as God imputes our sins to us, He cannot but regard us with abhorrence, for He cannot look with friendship or favour upon sinners. But this may appear to contradict what is said elsewhere, that ‘we were loved by Him before the foundation of the world’ (Eph. 1.4), and to contradict still more John 3:16 where He says that His love for us was the reason why He expiated our sins by Christ, for the cause must always precede the effect.” (Calvin’s Commentaries: II Corinthians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, p.78, emphasis mine)

Calvin explains: “My answer is that we were loved from before the foundation of the world, but not apart from Christ. But I do agree that the love of God was first in time and in order also as regards God; but, as regards us, His love has its foundation in the sacrifice of Christ. For when we think of God apart from a mediator, we can only conceive of Him as being angry with us, but when a mediator is interposed between us, we know that He is pacified towards us. But since it is also needful for us to know that Christ came forth to us from the fountain of God’s free mercy, Scripture explicitly teaches both; the Father’s wrath has been placated by the Son’s sacrifice and thus the Son was offered for the expiation of men’s sins, because God has had mercy upon them and has made this sacrifice the pledge of His receiving them into His favour. To sum up: wherever there is sin there is also God’s wrath for God is not propitious towards us until He has blotted out our sins by not imputing them. Since our consciences cannot grasp this blessing apart from the intervention of Christ’s sacrifice, Paul is right to make it the foundation and cause of reconciliation as far as we are concerned.” (Calvin’s Commentaries: II Corinthians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, pp.78-79, emphasis mine)

This is a very unusual perspective, especially when you consider that God provided clothing for Adam and Eve, and also accepted Abels sacrificed, and then encouraged Cain to do what is right and defeat the sin that was crouching at his door. Moreover, if as John Calvin says, that the Father’s wrath has been placated by the Son’s sacrifice,” and Jesus only died for the Calvinistically elect, as per the Calvinist doctrine of a Limited Atonement, then it follows that God would remain at the original hateful disposition towards the rest of mankind, who does not have access to the Son’s Atonement. But if the atonement is unlimited in scope, as in an Unlimited Atonement, then this would give a different perspective on Gods disposition towards mankind in general, and which is a loving disposition, even enough to move Him towards the grace reflected at John 3:16. But conversely, the Calvinist perspective opens the door to view the world in two distinct classifications, elect vs. non-elect, and loved vs. hated. The principle laid out by God is to love and pray for our enemies, even before they ask, just as Jesus prayed for those who were crucifying Him: ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.” (Luke 23:34) Certainly it is true that Arminians affirm the wrath of God, just as Arminians affirm the existence of a literal Hell, though primarily as a consequence of spurning Gods love poured out at Calvary, which Calvary, as argued by 5-Point Calvinists, the vast majority of mankind has no access to, having no Savior’s love to call upon, as they are just “passed-by” for grace.











According to Calvinism, what occurred at Calvary was a Calvinistic secret return to grace for the Calvinistic elect [in the Father], whom Christ Calvinistically alone died to save, so that upon faith in Christ (provided by means of Calvinistic Preemptive Regeneration), they come to the awareness of this Calvinistic secret reality. In this way, Calvinists stand on the Calvinistic promises of God.

Whereas the Law is hostile towards the sin of man (Colossians 2:14), God was never hostile towards man. Rather, man is hostile towards God. Otherwise, should we consider the cross as God’s hostility against His creation? Far from it! Romans 5:8 states: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God’s wrath and judgment were poured out upon us at the Garden of Eden. It was God’s love that was poured out ever since, and culminated at the cross, whereby we, being held hostage by sin, Christ’s love willingly paid the ransom price to set us free. (Matthew 20:28) 1st John 4:8-9 states: “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” Moreover, in terms of God’s love, Jeremiah 31:3 states: “The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.’” Christ’s love for the world is evident in the fact that He is drawing “all men to Himself.” (John 12:32) God did not make Himself our enemy, and never was our enemy as Calvin supposes. Rather, because of sin, we made God our enemy. (Romans 5:10) Yet in His great mercy (Romans 11:32), He sent us the ministry of reconciliation, not wishing that any perish, but for all to “repent” (2nd Peter 3:9) and to be “saved.” (1st Timothy 2:3-4)

Question:  Are we sinners in the hands of an angry God (as per Calvinist, Jonathan Edwards), or are we angry sinners in the hands of a loving God?
Calvinist Charge:  Arminians deny the Wrath of God.

Myth or Reality:  Certainly it is true that Arminians affirm the wrath of God, just as Arminians affirm the existence of a literal Hell, though primarily as a consequence of spurning Gods love poured out at Calvary, which Calvary, as argued by 5-Point Calvinists, the vast majority of mankind has no access to, having no Savior’s love to call upon, as they are just “passed-by” for grace. The flip-side is that the logical implication of Calvinism is that God’s wrath is really only upon the alleged, non-elect, with the rest being secretly and eternally loved. Arminians more equally apply the love and wrath of God, whereas with Calvinism, a comparable small minority gets secret love, for a reason that they admit that they cannot explain, while the comparable vast majority are hated, even from eternity, predetermined by an immutable decree.