Daily Archives: November 23, 2008

Beowulf2k8 and Calvinism

Calvinism hater Beowulf2k8 has graced this blog with his anti-Reformed rhetoric. He attacked this post. I think that the comment and his post here speaks for itself, and I won’t answer it directly. Instead, in a few days look for a post defending original sin. That should suffice as a response.

In the meantime, I wanted to answer this post, where Beowulf makes the following claim:

Now that Obama is the President Elect and will be President, the god of Calvinism can finally be satiated with a never ending pile of dead babies to send to hell for no fault of their own. That’s assuming that Obama can get his filibuster proof Democrat Congress to pass pro-abortion laws (which is a given).

I say this not so much to criticize Obama or the Democrat party. I’m not interested in politics today. I say this only to point out what sort of false god the Calvinists serve.

Calvinists teach a god who takes pleasure in broiling innocent infants in hell. Infants who have committed no sin. But their god takes pleasure in roasting them for Adam’s sin.

This is wholly false. Of infants, the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches:

Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. (10.3)

I don’t happen to like the phraseology, because it indicates that some infants might still go to hell. But it could also mean that all infants are elect and therefore go to heaven. I like to think of it that way. And perhaps that is what really happens, we will never know this side of heaven. The Bible is silent on what happens to infants.

All people are sinners by nature. God elects some to salvation and others he passes over for damnation. Beowulf uses that as an excuse to hate God as he has revealed himself, and instead fashions an idol. The idol he worships is more comfortable for him; this idol doesn’t condemn deserving people.

What Beowulf is doing is taking an extreme situation–the condemning of infants–and using it to argue by outrage. It is uncomfortable for us to think that infants would be condemned to hell. But isn’t it uncomfortable to think that anyone would be condemned to hell? Is Beowulf perhaps betraying this thought?

In any case, Calvinism doesn’t teach that infants are condemned to hell automatically. And Calvinism definitely doesn’t teach that God takes pleasure in the condemnation of sinners–young or old. Scripture reveals otherwise, as Beowulf himself points out.

Beowulf is confusing Calvinism with hyper-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism teaches that God hates the reprobate (non-elect). While “hate” is mentioned in some texts (Rom 9:13), it is the Greek word miseo, which actually means “to love less.” God is merely stating that he has no covenant relationship with Esau. As an extension, God has no covenant relationship with the non-elect, but that doesn’t mean that he hates them in the traditional sense of that word. John 3:16, among other texts, is crystal clear–“For God so loved the world. . . .”

If Beowulf believes I am in error, he is welcome to comment on this entry or post it on his own blog. If he can prove me wrong by the traditional documents of the Reformed faith (such as the Westminster Confession or the Baptist Confession), then he is more than welcome to do so.