The Calvinistic concept of the predestination of men - apart from their will and choice - issues from the false assumption that men are "born in sin" having inherited the original sin of Adam, and, "being wholly inclined to evil," with no good in them, such a condition required an "unconditional election" on the part of God. This election limited the atonement of Christ to the "elect", who are saved by the "irresistible grace of God," and will therefore, never be able to forfeit their right to eternal life. On the other hand, all who are not of the "elect" are completely shut off from the grace of God which He has extended to all men through Christ, and are eternally consigned to damnation and separation from God in the world to come. This doctrine stands opposed to New Testament teaching on at least 5 points:
1. It makes God a respecter of persons in that He has predestinated some to eternal life and others to eternal damnation: this is contrary to the very nature of God (Romans 2:11; Deuteronomy 32:4).
2. It makes God responsible for the loss of souls in hell; but the New Testament teaches that He is not "willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). He "would have all men to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4).
3. It destroys man's power of choice. If my destiny is already sealed, there is nothing I can do to change it; I have no choice open to me, and my will cannot be exercised in any way whatever. However, the Bible says, "Choose I you this day I whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15), and the "Spirit and the bride say, Come . . . and whosoever WILL, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). Jesus said, "If any man WILL" (John 17:17).
4. It nullifies the commission of Christ (Mark 16:15-16). If one's eternal destiny has already been determined by the Father, why preach to him?
5. The whole system makes man an irresponsible being. If man is born in sin, if he is a sinner by birth, he is not responsible for those transgressions. But man does not inherit sin -- he commits it (Ezekiel 18:1-24). This passage also teaches that man does not inherit righteousness; he does it.
- by Kelly Ellis