Acts 10:34

Acts 10:34-35 (see also Acts 10:28; Romans 2:11)
Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”

Romans 2:11 states: “For there is no partiality with God.

Calvinists believe that the only reason why they are saved is because of God’s partiality towards them, or otherwise stated, God’s favor in special Election:

Calvinists, Peterson and Williams, satirize the non-Calvinist view: “Since Calvinism is predicated upon a divine discrimination regarding the recipients of saving grace, it must be rejected as contrary to all our enlightened and just conceptions of the saving ways of God.” (Why I Am Not An Arminian, p.17, emphasis mine)

God is infinitely fair-minded. However, Calvinists insist that exactly the opposite is true, in that if God is being fair, He is being fair to the [alleged] non-elect, who are only getting exactly what they deserve, and for the Calvinistically elect, they are getting what they don’t deserve, which is mercy. Part of that is true. Fallen man does not deserve God’s mercy, but God says that He wants to give mercy to all anyway, which Paul well illustrated in his gospel presentation at Acts 17:30. Jesus died on the cross for everyone. No one made God do this. He wanted to, of His own free will, and declared it so in Scripture. Of that point, Peterson and Williams waffle. See John 3:16.

2nd Chronicles 19:7: Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.

Romans 2:11: For there is no partiality with God.

Galatians 2:6: But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

Ephesians 6:9: And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

Dave Hunt writes: “In fact, man’s God-given conscience and Scripture cry out in protest against this doctrine. God is entirely ‘without partiality’ (James 3:17), is ‘no respecter of persons’ (Acts 10:34), and all men are equally worthy of His condemnation and equally unworthy of His grace. Calvinists admit that the ‘elect,’ like all mankind by their view, were once totally depraved, incurably set against God and incapable of believing the gospel, with no more to commend them to God’s grace than the ‘non-elect.’ Then why did He select them to salvation and damn all the rest? No reason can be found either in God or in man, or anywhere in Scripture. There is no escaping the haunting question: Why did Calvin’s God choose to save so few when He could have saved all? Without apology, James White informs us, ‘Why is one man raised to eternal life and another left to eternal destruction...? It is “according to the kind intention of His will.”’ So it is God’s kindness that causes Him to save so few and damn so many! We are aghast at such a concept, and we are offended on behalf of our God.” (What Love is This?, pp.347-248)

John Calvin writes: “There are some, too, who allege that God is greatly dishonored if such arbitrary power is bestowed on Him. … they should look up to the sovereignty of God and not evaluate it by their own judgment.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, pp.209-210, emphasis mine)

Calvin adds: “Many people make the mistake of explaining this in a general way--that God does not prefer one person to another. Thus, in the past Pelagius denied that some are chosen and some are rejected by God. But we must understand this to refer to external state or appearance and whatever about a person procures favor or rejection. Wealth, rank, number of servants, and honor make a person highly respected; poverty, low birth, and so on make a person despised. The Lord often forbids us to judge people on such grounds, which are a distraction from the real issue.” (Acts: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.181, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, George Whitefield, explains: “I believe the doctrine of reprobation, in this view, that God intends to give saving grace, through Jesus Christ, only to a certain number, and that the rest of mankind, after the fall of Adam, being justly left of God to continue in sin, will at last suffer that eternal death which is its proper wages.” (Whitefield’s Letter to Wesley, emphasis mine)

While indeed God is “impartial” in terms of wealth, rank and reputation (Galatians 2:6), Peter wasn’t talking about partiality in that context. Peter stated: You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. (Acts 10:28) Clearly, Peter was not talking about “rank, external state or appearance.” Peter had said: I most certainly understand now.” (v.34) “In every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” (v.35) “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” (v.43) “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

John Calvin adds: “But it looks as if God did show favoritism for a time, when he chose the Jews and passed over the Gentiles. The answer is that this distinction was not based on men but originated entirely in the secret purpose of God. In choosing Abraham rather than the Egyptians, he was not motivated by any external considerations; God was never bound to persons.” (Acts: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.181, emphasis mine)

God’s “favoritism” for the Jew was a covenant blessing that resulted from the faith of their ancestor, Abraham. Speaking of the purpose of Abraham’s election, God said, And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. (Genesis 12:3) God certainly had compassion for other nations as well, even wicked ones such as Nineveh. (Jonah 4:11) God had compassion on the entire city without showing partiality between individual citizens, and that’s just the way that God is.

Also consider the examples of Elijah and Elisha that Jesus relayed: ‘But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.’ (Luke 4:25-27) Israel had become blind to the fact that God had always loved the whole world, and the purpose of Israel’s election was to serve as a light to the whole world whom God loved.

If God is impartial in salvation, as Peter here describes, then Calvinism utterly collapses because Calvinism is rooted in the presumption of partiality and exclusivity.

Question:  If God is “not one to show partiality” in terms of wealth, rank, reputation, appearance, race or occupation, why would God be partial in terms of who He wants to receive His Son?

Answer:  What could be more partial than to say that God, from eternity past, unconditionally pre-selected some people to become Christians while unconditionally aborting the rest?
Adrian Rogers explains: “Friend, the inequities in life will not continue after death. There are inequities in life; there are not inequities in destiny.” (Five Minutes After Death: Luke 16:19-31)

Rogers also states: “The door to salvation is very wide. There is no respect of persons. Whosoever will may come.” (The Christ of the New Testament: Acts 10:34)

Adrian Rogers continues: “God did not say that some people can be saved and other people cannot be saved, that some are in a select group. No! There is no respect of persons with God. None whatsoever. The Lord is not willing that any should perish. If you go to hell, a broken-hearted God will watch you drop into hell. It is not God’s plan that you die and go to hell. The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (The Christ of the New Testament: Acts 10:34)
Calvinism ultimately means that not every soul is precious to God, and that Jesus does not love all the little children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are not all precious in His sight, according to Calvinism.