As a third in this series-of-indeterminate-length I raise this question:
Are Calvinists obliged to snort, jeer and mock at every use of the verb "choose" (or "decide") where God is not the subject?This is no more theoretical than the previous ones were. I've seen it. Some poor soul mentions his "decision" for Christ, or an evangelist urges his hearers to choose to trust, or decide to put their faith in Christ... and out comes the Genevan Inquisition.
"Yeah, 'choose.' You 'chose.' It doesn't matter what you chose, because you can't choose. You're dead, unable to choose, unless God chooses you first."
Is that a Biblical way to hear and talk to such people? Is the Bible universally "anti-choice"? Does the Bible teach us that we should call sinners to Christ by telling them that they can't choose Christ, can't decide for Christ, mustn't decide for Christ, shouldn't choose Christ? If some bubbly new professor shares the great news with us that he'd decided to trust Christ, is our most brotherly, Biblical, God-honoring response to mock him and dress him right down as a Pelagian heretic?
You are headed South at full speed. Does the Gospel tell you to turn 'round and head North? Do you decide to do that? Do you decide to abandon all trust in your works and merit and goodness, and put all your faith in Jesus Christ alone? Is it right for us to call people to do that? Is it right for one seeking salvation to do that, to make that decision?
Or is all that really and truly and fatally contrary to the Gospel when understood in its Biblical, monergistic, sovereign-grace terms?
Only two special rules for this thread, and you don't have a choice about them:
- Strict two-hundred-word limit on all comments. I'll delete, and leave the person's name as a warning to all fellow-travelers.
- In-house discussion; Calvinists only
UPDATE: my thoughts can be found here.