But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
John Calvin comments: “The Law is in itself full of light but we appreciate its clarity only when Christ appears to us in it.” (Calvin’s Commentaries: II Corinthians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, p.47, emphasis mine)
Calvin adds: “And we should learn that without Christ, the sum of righteousness, there is no light even in the Law and in the whole Word of God.” (Calvin’s Commentaries: II Corinthians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, p.48 emphasis mine)
What happens when you take Christ out of Election? Better stated, what happens when you place Christ on the back-end of Election, which is essentially the same thing? A Calvinist will surely want to know what you mean by that, so to explain: Based upon the Calvinist interpretation of John 6:37, Calvinism teaches that God the Father has eternally had a people, an elect people, who are eternally in the Father, so to speak, or in the eternal flock of the Father, with the result that upon this basis, God the Father has chosen to give and draw these to His Son, in order that they may belong to Him. That’s a back-end Election. Christ is put to the back-end. In other words, a person is chosen into the Father’s eternal secret possession, with the result that, on this account, are given by the Father to His Son. So when people view election in such a way, isn’t it also indicative of a veil? To see this in action, simply consider the following Calvinist sentiments concerning Election:
One Calvinist responds: “Do Calvinists secretly believe that God chose them for some reason other than their need for salvation? Would I, as a Christian, believe that God chose me for some other reason than my need for salvation? Yes, I do. God chose me for His glory, for His pleasure, for His purposes. Sure I had a need for salvation. But that is not why He saved me primarily.”
The Calvinist answers: “In the Bible, God does not say He chose us because of our desperate need. He chose us before our need ever arose.”
This is what happens when you think of Election Calvinisticly.
Consider Calvin’s own warning:
John Calvin warns: “Paul testifies indeed that we were chosen before the foundation of the world; but, he adds, in Christ (Eph 1:4). Let no one then seek confidence in his election elsewhere, unless he wish to obliterate his name from the book of life in which it is written.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.126, emphasis mine)
Calvin writes: “There God stretches out His hand to all alike, but He only grasps those (in such a way as to lead to Himself) whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Hebrews and I and II Peter, p.364, emphasis mine)
Missing something? Endless Calvinist misquotes on Ephesians 1:4 can be found exactly like this.
Calvinist, John MacArthur, on Election: “You and I are saved and we know the Lord Jesus Christ because God chose us before the world ever began. What an incredible reality!” (Understanding Election, emphasis mine)
It’s not just MacArthur that does this. This is almost universally committed by Calvinists. Why?
MacArthur explains: “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. ... I’m a Christian today because before the foundation of the world from all eternity past, God chose to set His love on John MacArthur and to give him the faith to believe at the moment that God wanted him to believe. He chose us.” (Understanding Election, emphasis mine)
Election indeed becomes a mind-boggling mystery when in Christ is removed, and it’s not merely that Jesus is removed, but also that the Father gets substituted in His place:
Calvin writes: “Paul further confirms this, declaring that God was moved by no external cause; He Himself and in Himself was author and cause of our being elected while yet we were not created, and of His afterwards conferring faith upon us.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)
Calvin writes: “...God has chosen to salvation those whom He pleased, and has rejected the others, without our knowing why, except that its reason is hidden in His eternal counsel.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.53, emphasis mine)
Calvin adds: “First he points out the eternity of election, and then how we should think of it. Christ says that the elect always belonged to God. God therefore distinguishes them from the reprobate, not by faith, nor by any merit, but by pure grace; for while they are far away from him, he regards them in secret as his own.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.393, emphasis mine)
Calvin continues: “This way of speaking, however, may seem to be different from many passages of Scripture which attribute to Christ the first foundation of God’s love for us and show that outside Christ we are detested by God. But we ought to remember, as I have already said, that the Heavenly Father’s secret love which embraced us is the first love given to us.” John Calvin (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, pp.76, emphasis mine)
Calvinist, James White, writes: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because the Father, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, gave me to the Son in eternity past.” Calvinist, James White (Debating Calvinism, p.118, emphasis mine)
Do these quotes show that Calvinists have placed their “confidence in his election elsewhere” than in Christ? Do these quotes show that Calvinists have a theological veil over their eyes, all because they placed Jesus on the back-end of Election?