The Calvinists' God

Kurt Dahlin April 6, 2005

Once upon a time there was a birthday party for seven year olds at the house.  Forty little kids were having a great time. It was good. The moment came to light the candles on the cake.  Dad realized that the ice cream was still in the refrigerator out back (he put it there earlier).  He placed the matchbox on the table and said, “Don't light the candles, you'll kill yourselves.” They were special candles that don't blow out. What a treat for seven year olds!  While Dad was delayed getting their ice cream, one of the kids suggested they light the candles and practice blowing them out to get the proper camera angle.  So, as the partygoers gathered to blow out the candles one fell on the pile of presents and burst into an inferno.  The Dad, realizing what had happened, rushed into the house and carefully and arbitrarily rescued four kids to show the world what a real hero he was.  He could have saved the rest but he did not.  He let them burn along with the entire house and presents. He wanted to show them his displeasure at their disobedience (which he planned).  He locked them in so they could not save themselves.  The four kids and the Dad ate the ice cream in joyous celebration and happiness while the others were weeping, pleading and gnashing their teeth.  Occasionally, the four yelled to the others to come out.  However, they couldn't get out on their own, only the Dad could rescue them if he had wanted to.  In reality the Dad hated those he did not choose and planned for them to burn in the fire before the party began.  He even knew the one boy who would light the fire.  Moreover, he did not simply foreknow it, he actually ordained it to happen according to his good pleasure.
June, 1996

D- Danika 10 years old

M- Marika 7  years old

K- Kendrika 5  years old

D- He shouldn't have left the matches on the counter knowing that the seven year olds aren't good at obeying.

D- They shouldn't have been “trick” candles.

M- He should have saved everyone to make himself more of a hero.

D- He locked them in.  This is stupid.  He is not a hero.

M- He could have been more of a hero if he didn't lock them in.

D, M - If all he could save is four; he would be a hero.  If he could save them all and  didn't he wouldn't be a hero.  That's dumb.

M- You should change the ending.

K- Those poor kids.  He should have taken them all out.  He's a real grumpy Dad that doesn't save his own kids.K - He should have saved them all because only one did it.  He should have only left the one kid that started the fire.

Kurt - I ask, “Should he even have left the one kid?” 

M, K, D - All agreed, “No, he should even rescue the one kid.”

D, M - Then he would learn to be more obedient and maybe grow up to be a fireman and teach others not to start fires.

D - The real hero would save all of them and especially the one who started the fire.

D, M,K - If it was in his power to save everyone and he didn't he would not be a hero.

K - You should save everybody.

Story- Duane Edward Spencer.
TULIP. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991.
Once Upon A Time...
“Everything was infallibly determined and immutably fixed by God from the beginning, and all that happens in time is but the accomplishment of what was ordained in eternity” (Spencer 20).
He placed the match box on the table...
“whatever comes to pass in any part of creation, at any time in history, does so because the omniscient God knew it as a possibility, willed it as a reality by His omnipotence, and established it in His divine plan or Purpose” (Spencer 16).
one of the candles fell on the pile of presents     

“Nothing, however small, however strange, occurs without His ordering,...” (Spencer 15).

He let the rest burn to show his displeasure...
The Dad carefully rescued four kids to show himself a hero...     

“Jehovah will be seen consistent as He damns some and forgives others, as He displays His sovereign righteousness and justice towards unrepentant sinners, while declaring His sovereign grace, freely forgiving all whom He chose ‘in Christ Jesus’ before the foundation of the world” (Spencer 16).

locked in...

Dad could rescue if he wanted...     

“if man does not have free will, but is actually in bondage to Satan and sin, then his only hope is that God has chosen of His free will to elect him to salvation” (Spencer 12).
Occasionally the four yelled to the others to come out. However, they couldn’t...only the Dad could rescue them if he wanted...     

“The choice as to who will come to Christ is God’s, not man’s” (Spencer 32).
“Men may connive and scheme...but they cannot bring to pass so much as one act contrary to the will and plan of God who foreordained all of history from the largest event to the most insignificant” (Spencer 20).
The four kids and the Dad ate ice-cream in joyous celebration...     

“the end of all shall be the manifestation of His glory, and the accumulation of His praise” (Spencer 15).
The Dad hated those he did not choose...    
“the Holy Scriptures very clearly teach that there are many whom God hates!” (Spencer 70).


The Calvinist Looks at Scripture

Jesus:    Luke 13:3  “I tell you, No!  But unless you repent, you too will perish.”

Calvin:  You shall all perish because I so willed it before the foundation of the world.

Jesus:    Matthew 11:20  “Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.”

Calvin:  I knew you would not repent because I didn't really call you to repentance.  So I am not really upset.

Jesus:   Matthew 10:22  “All men will hate you because of me, but he who endures to the end will be saved.”

Calvin:  He that is saved will endure to the end.

Jesus:   Matthew 18:11  “The Son of Man came to save what was lost.”

Calvin:  The Son of Man came to save only the elect.

Steve:   Acts 7:51  “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!  You are just like your fathers:  You always resist the Holy Spirit!”

Calvin:  Since God is omnipotent and man a third rate power you cannot really resist the Holy Ghost and obstruct the irresistible will of God. So, though you are stiff-necked people  you have only done what has been pre-determined by the Sovereign God.

Jesus:    Matthew 18:4  “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” 

Calvin:  Even a child is born depraved in Adam and excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus:   Luke 13:24  “'Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

Calvin:  Salvation is all of God so there is no need for the human engagement of effort. The work is all God so you don't really need to strive.

Jesus:    Luke 13:34  “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Calvin:  Oh Jerusalem I really didn't will to gather you as a hen does so you didn't really obstruct my will by not coming.  You were not willing, because I was not willing. I'm not really weeping over you, I just have dust in my eye.

Jesus:   Luke 9:56  “Jesus turned and rebuked them and he said, 'You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”

Calvin:  The Son of Man is come to destroy some man's lives and to save only a limited amount.

Jesus:    Luke 18:24 How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.

Calvin:  It is not hard for anyone to enter the Kingdom of God because there is no “condition” (will, status), that can obstruct the IRRESISTIBLE grace of God.

Apostles:  Luke 18:24 “Who then can be saved?”

Calvin:  The proper question is “Who may be saved?...”  Only a limited amount of people that I should will to be save through my limited atonement.  Which is not powerful enough to save everybody.

Paul:       Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved--you and your household.”

Calvin:  You and your household will be saved if God so wills that you be given the grace to be saved.